Screaming whenever I leave

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Screaming whenever I leave

Postby Marcn » Sun Mar 27, 2016 9:44 pm

hi all, I have a male ringneck 'Ringo'. Had him for about 2 years. He is very tame, talks a lot. Has a pretty close bond with me, won't go to anyone else in the house. (Although flys straight to the shoulder of a stranger in the house?)

Anyway, lately he is getting cranky whenever I leave the room. If I get up and go to the toilet he will start screaming until I get back. Even if I sit outside and he can see me he will start screaming. I say 'no' every time he screams and praise when he talks. I feel like he knows that screaming is wrong, when you walk back in the room he has that look of 'I've done something wrong!). If he is persistent with screaming I'll put him in his cage and cover it up for a few minutes.

Also worth noting, if I leave the lounge and go to the kitchen (another room) and he screams, I will call out to him but he will continue to scream instead of just flying over??

He has a stand in the lounge that he spends most of his time and takes himself to bed in the cage at the same time each night. He has loads of freedom and flies around all day between his stand and cage. He is only in his cage if nobody is home and overnight.

Any help?

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Re: Screaming whenever I leave

Postby MissK » Mon Mar 28, 2016 7:12 am

Hi. My tiny piece of help is to let you know the bird doesn't know he's done something wrong. Screaming isn't wrong; you just don't like it. You're trying to repress a natural expression.

I couldn't say why he screams when you leave him, especially is he's free to follow. Is it possible he is so attached to you that separation makes him uncomfortable, but the place you've gone is too scary to follow?

I'm not fully informed about what you do when you tell the bird No, so I can't really make any guesses about it. However, if you are also issuing punishment at the same time, your bird may associate that punishment with you coming back into the room after a scream. If this is what's happening, could explain the guilty look - and you would want to not do that.

When my birds make a lot of noise - I hesitate to call it screaming, since I'm not sure what noise you're calling a scream - I look to the cause. Sometimes the bird is vocalizing from fear/discomfort (a stranger is in the room, a danger call) or an unmet need (I let that food bowl get empty) or from natural inclination (they're playing and communicating with each other). I cannot, in good conscience, be unhappy with the bird for making such natural vocalizations.

Perhaps you can further inspect your situation for correlated events that might be triggering the scream. It might be as simple as giving the bird something else to focus on while you're absent. If you are so lucky, you might be able to desensitize the bird to to your leaving by repeated brief absences. Essentially, the bird could learn there is no point getting excited because you'll be right back. For something like that, you might Google for how to handle a dog with separation anxiety. This is just a thought.

Good luck.

sanjays mummi
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Re: Screaming whenever I leave

Postby sanjays mummi » Mon Mar 28, 2016 4:05 pm

Ok, here's how we trained dogs out of it, it might help, you go through the motions to go out, but you leave a few moments early, you stand outside the door, count to ten, then bustle in again, you repeat this a few times Everytime you go out, until the dog just looks at you and gets on with snoozing instead of panicking.
Sanjay only calls when I'm in another room, if he is caged, he clings to his front bars looking for me, making the calling noises he once used with his daddi, he settles when I come back into the room, out of cage he just calls and waits for my answer. When I am going shopping, I get my coat etc and put it on in front of his cage, check the windows are closed and switch the radio on, and the whole time I keep the same commentary up,."mummi is going shopping to buy your food, and my food, be a good birdy while I am out, I will try and be back at my usual time", then I say "Cheerio, see ya later!" And go out, Sanjay? Just looks at me and finds something to eat or play with. But as soon as he hears my key in the door, he's at the front of his cage, asking me if I have a treat for him!

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Joined: Sun Mar 27, 2016 9:26 pm

Re: Screaming whenever I leave

Postby Marcn » Thu Mar 31, 2016 12:59 am

Thank you both for your comments. I never really thought about the fact that him screaming is normal behaviour for him. I really appreciate the comment as I now have a very different perspective on his 'calling out' (I'm not calling it screaming any more:) )

Great idea about the leaving and then coming straight back in, I'll get to work on that straight away.

Thanks again!

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