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In issue 297 -
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Discovering your bird’s ‘comfort sounds’

Spreads for web Parrots 278 4

The Holistic Parrot by Leslie Moran

Our parrots vocalise in a variety of creative and unique ways. From mimicking cell phone ringers to repeating private and personal conversations, to deafening screams. But what about the vocalisations your parrot makes when they feel safe, happy and content? Let’s explore the vocalisations parrots make that we can describe as their ‘comfort sounds’.

In the past, feeding time in my bird room has created much excitement, especially with my two Blue and Gold macaws. Corby, my male who turned 30 in January, would begin screaming loudly with excitement anticipating his morning meal.

One morning, when the macaw cacophony began, I did something that silenced the room. Instead of tortuously tolerating the noise, I set the tray down on the counter, covered both my ears with my hands and began calmly talking to Corby in my normal speaking voice. I told him, “Your screaming hurts my ears, and if you’re going to scream, I’m going to stand here covering my ears with my hands, and with my hands covering my ears, I can’t feed you. If you want me to feed you and everyone else breakfast, you need to be quiet so I can uncover my ears.” I kept repeating variations of this message until he realised he had to stop screaming to hear what I was saying. And then when he heard and understood my words an astonished look came across his face as he became quiet.

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