I recently changed the title of this blog to “Technology and Other Musings” because I wanted to add an article here or there that wasn’t necessarily about technology. So I thought I’d write one about how to live with noisy parrots, since many parrot owners run into problems with their birds making a lot of noise.
I have two parrots that live with me in my small apartment. One is a brown head parrot and the other is a caique. Brown head parrots are relatively quiet, low-key birds while caiques can be a bit louder and more energetic. The two birds together though can get a bit noisy, since they like to call to one another sometimes.
So here are a few tips on how to live with noisy parrots. They’ve worked well for me so they might also help you. This is by no means an exhaustive list, it’s just a couple of ways that I’ve learned to deal with my parrot’s noise. If you have additional suggestions, please feel free to post them in the comments section below.
Blackout Curtains: How to Keep Parrots Quiet in the Morning
Parrots are like any birds, when the day begins they start to wake up. This should be a generally pleasant time for all as everybody is about to start their day. However, if you are a night owl or you just happen to have stayed up late then it can be difficult if your birds decide to start their day before you’re ready.
I had to deal with this with my brown head parrot. He used to wake me up shortly after the sun had come up, even with my shades down. The shades just did not block out enough light to keep him in quiet, sleepy mode until I woke up.
I started looking around for curtains and found some wonderful thermal/blackout curtains on Amazon.com. These curtains work beautifully to keep the light out of the room. I bought three pairs of cranberry curtains for my living room and it keeps my parrots quiet until I wake up and I’m ready for them to start their day.
The curtains come in a number of colors. They may not be the most luxurious looking curtains but they really do get the job done. When it comes to sleeping in, luxury must give way to practicality. They come in 63 or 84 inch lengths. The link in the image I provided above goes to the 63 inch version as those fit my windows best. But you can click here if you need the 84 inch version.
Bear in mind that the curtains don’t block out all the light, there’s still a bit that comes in at the top. But they block out most of it and they have eliminated the dreaded early morning bird noises that used to make me grumpy and that stopped me from sleeping in.
If you’re the type that appreciates the ability to have parrots and still sleep in, grab these curtains. You’ll love em’, I sure as heck do!
Ear Protection for the Gun Range & Parrots
It’s perfectly normal for parrots to make noise during the day, and most of the time it’s fine. However, there can be times when it can be annoying to listen to and if you are having one of those days you need something to take the sound level down a bit.
One of the best tools I’ve found is earmuffs; the same ones I use at the gun range. Yes, that’s right…the ear protection for guns works great with parrots. Bear in mind that it won’t block out all the sound but it can help take it down a notch or two, and it will help you avoid making the mistake of reinforcing negative behavior by responding to the noise (see the negative reinforcement section below).
This is particularly helpful if you have co-dependent parrots that freak out if you leave the room. This drives some parrot owners crazy, because they feel they can’t move around in their own house without listening to a lot of noise. I sympathize, I had to deal with a bird like that for years and it can really drive you up a wall.
Amazon.com has a good selection of shooting earmuffs that should work well to temporarily reduce the noise of parrots.
Beware of Negative Reinforcement!
One of the biggest mistakes some parrot owners make is to reinforce noise with negative attention. Yelling at your bird to demand that it be quiet does NOT work with parrots. You should NEVER respond to loud, irritating noises. Ignore them. Do not teach the bird to make those noises by looking at the bird, talking to it or otherwise giving it any attention.
When the bird makes noises that please you then you can talk to it, pet it or otherwise give it attention.
Please don’t misunderstand me; I am not suggesting that you should ignore your bird in a general sense. But it’s very important to only give your bird attention when it is appropriate. Obviously, if you think your bird is in real distress (if it’s injured, etc.) then you need to check on it appropriately.
But beware of accidentally teaching your bird to make those irritating noises that you hate. Negative reinforcement can make a noisy bird even worse because they love attention and they remember what they are doing when they get it.
Parrots can be wonderful pets since they can form emotional bonds with their owners (or slaves, as I like to refer to myself as a parrot slave…heh). But they can also be challenging to deal with when it comes to noise. So make sure that you have the right tools for the job.
Solid ear protection and blackout curtains can be extremely helpful in protecting your sanity and sleep.
What’s your take on parrot noise? Got a good tip to share with your fellow parrot slaves? Post it in the comments section below.