"ARE YOUR BIRDS ALWAYS THIS LOUD?"
If you have parrots in your home, you have probably had guests who ask about your birds, "Are they always this loud?" Ahhhh. You can spot a parrot owner from a non-parrot owner a mile away. 😉 I never ask that question when I visit homes of fellow parrot owners. In my humble opinion, the cacophony is just an expected bonus. But I understand. I do. I was standing in the kitchen this morning preparing breakfast for my flock and I found myself smiling, really, just grinning, as I worked. I'd only brought one macaw out to keep me company while I washed bowls, refilled fresh water and prepped food, and the rest of my birds were doing their morning vocalizations before their food hit their cages. It was amazing...and extremely loud.
My Yellow Nape went through his entire repertoire of aria arpeggios, children's songs, and chatty repartee, over and over and over again. (I have tried to record him but he is at his best when it's just the birds in the bird room. If I walk in and want him to do an encore, he looks at me as if I'm truly intruding on a very private performance. Crickets. ) My other macaws were squawking at the tops of their lungs, and actually, I think my DYH was the only relatively calm one in the bunch...this time. The B&G with me in the kitchen spent her time barking, squawking, and jiving to the noises of her flock. The sound was deafening. It. Was. Wonderful. And then my husband came into the kitchen. He recently got a new pair of hearing aids, looked at me in slack-jawed amazement, uttered, "I need to turn the volume down on my ears!" turned on his heels, and he was gone, momentarily. Funny...the birds have been this noisy for umpteen years and now he hears them in their full glory. Don't get me wrong: Robert loves the birds and everything they bring to our family, but there was a "volume reality check" when he traded the old pair of aids out for these high-tech new ones. There are lessons here that we all need to be cognizant of: 1. If you are considering getting a parrot as a pet, know that they will be noisy, very noisy. Not all of the time, but when they are...they make up for any quiet/down time. 2. Size does not matter when it comes to parrots' decibel level production. Smaller birds can make incredibly piercing sounds. Cockatoos can vocalize loud enough to split your ear drums. And ANY bird, near your ear, can wreak havoc and damage your hearing. 3. Don't yawn near your birds while they are loudly vocalizing. I am not a doctor (and I don't play one on tv), and I don't know the medical reasons for this, but it seems that the ear canal changes and makes the sounds that are close very piercing and painful, especially bird squawks. When my macaws have "yelled" near my ears and I've been in the middle of a yawn, those were memorable occasions... and not in a good way. 4. Be courteous and cognizant of your visiting family and guests. Not everyone loves parrots like we do. (SHOCK!) I have a close friend who is very sensitive to loud noises and she's really not a fan of parrots, but she is a good friend, has auditory issues, and she brings ear plugs with her when she visits. When we get together here, we go to a part of the house away from the birds or, if it's a nice day, the birds are outside in their flights. Consider these three options when you have visitors who may not be comfortable with your birds: - Don't relegate your birds to a less than adequate location in your home (YOUR BIRDS are your family members, too!) , but consider moving them temporarily to another room, with a closed door. (Think lighting, proper heat, proper cage, enrichment, water/food, etc. in that room.) Or... -Entertain your friends away from the place where your birds are normally located. -Have ear plugs available for visitors. They work, and it's a considerate, inexpensive, and viable option. I wish that I had a recording to share in this blog of my birds' vocalizations, but I don't. if you have your own flock, take a moment when your birds get insanely noisy, stand amongst them, and revel in their joyous jungle sounds. It's what they do and just one of the reasons we love them so much. And THAT is why they call us "those crazy parrot people."