How do I get my Moluccan Cockattoo to stop screaming?

by Daddy
(Lahaina Hawaii)

Moluccan Cockatoo rescue

Moluccan Cockatoo rescue

HI. I just got my new pal. He is an 8 year old Moluccan Cockatoo that came to me from a rescue center.
He is just beautiful, loving, talking, but when I leave the room for 2 minutes to dump the trash even he starts screeching like he is being tourtered.

The guy at the rescue center said that he does scream. I asked him why my new friend screams and he said "because he can." I would imagine my guy is use to being in an aivary with other birds and thinks that that is acceptable behavior.

My new frind came for out of state in a carrier and when I went to the cargo department of the airline the people said "he is one fiesty bird". I said what ARE you talking about. I have movies of him and word from the vet that he is a lover and just wants all the attention he can get.
When I looked inside his carrier he was all the way against the back with his feathers up and he was hissing!
I think he was just scared. I took him out to my car in his carrier, said hi to him in a soothing voice, (I didn't know if he would bit me) opened the door and he came running out right in to my lap and wanted to cuddle with me.

I have had him for 2 days now and when I am on the computer for hours at a time he likes to sit quietly right on the arm of my chair and just look at me. Of course I take a break every few minutes to talk to him and to scratch his neck which he just loves.

So, what is the screeching all about? Since he was screeching every time I left the room and he could't see me I had to let him sit on the shower curtain rod while I took a shower so the neighbors wouldn't hear him. He actually seems to like it up there. I know he likes his new home. I live in Hawaii and he came from the cold country. New surroundings? New home? New noises?

Comments for How do I get my Moluccan Cockattoo to stop screaming?

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Feb 08, 2015
my umbrella cockatoos
by: Anonymous

Hi i have two umbrella cockatoos . Male and female my female is 13 years old bort her from a bby and she is a screamer the male is 5 i have just got him a week ago he is settling in there both making signals to eatch other for mateing the screaming you will never stop 13 years she still dose it . Lovely parrots

Mar 06, 2013
Additional Information
by: Chris & Joy

I recommend trying some exercises that will help. Leave the room for a few moments and then return. When he screams, let him scream for 30 seconds, return to the roon and speak to him in soft reasuring tones that he is fine and everything is good. Once he stops screaming then offer to pick him up and comfort him with hugs and kisses. He needs to know that you are his owner/friend and that he is safe with you forever. He is scared to be left alone for long periods of time. This is likely what happened with his previous owners. My Peachie is the same way.

If you have not yet visited your Avian vet with your cockatoo, I would do this. I would recommend getting a baseline of blood work to see if there is anything physically going on with him.

As time passes, about six months, he will become more adjusted to his surroundings and your bond with him will be strong. Try things like taking him to home depot next time you go and or for walks and let him interact with others, but always make sure he can see you and you are ready to take him back home with you.

It is highly recommended to use a pet carrier for your too when you travel in a vehicle, however, we do not use one.

I do hope that this helps you. If you need any additional advise, please post another comment. We will check regularly to make sure we give you any advice or help that we can. Best Regards, Chris & Joy

Mar 06, 2013
Help with your Moluccan Cockatoo
by: Joy & Chris

Hi,

My husband and I have a moluccan cockatoo named peaches. I adopted her from a loving home in 2007 and have been dedicated to her/him since that time. Peaches is now 13 years old and is unique in that when my husband and I met and married, she bonded with him as well and was not jealous. She loves us both equally and we lover her equally.

I hope your cockatoo is doing well now that you have had him/her for a number of months. However, when my husband found your post we decided that we should respond because we are experienced and dedicated owners of our moluccan.

I assume that you have found out as much as you can from the rescue about the bird's previous life and owners. If not, please do. This will help immensely in understanding how to work with your bird to bring his/her natural personality out.

In addition, when the bird traveled to you, he/she did not understand what was happening and was likely very scared the entire trip until you picked him up.

Cockatoos take transitions to new homes and owners with difficulty and stress. Therefore, what you are doing, holding him and comforting him is critically important. This will create a positive bond and will serve your relationship well. He is already looking to you as his protector.

The transition process of a cockatoo becoming adjusted to their new home and surroundings will take months. Also, since your bird has come from a shelter, this means that it has had more than one owner (in his eyes) and likely has a bit of separation anxiety. Therefore the screaming when he cannot see you.

I recommend trying some exercises that will help. Leave the room for a few moments and then return. When he screams, let him scream for 30 seconds, return to the roon and speak to him in soft reasuring tones that he is fine and everything is good. Once he stops screaming then offer to pick him up and comfort him with hugs and kisses. He needs to know that you are his owner/friend and that he is safe with you forever. He is scared to be left alone for long periods of time. This is likely what happened with his previous owners. My Peachie is the same way. Best regards, Chris & Joy

Mar 24, 2009
Moluccan Screaming
by: Anonymous

Moluccans are screamers period! And they are clowns that thrive on attention. The Moluccan I had would scream even if I was holding him sometimes, especially when outside. I finally made the decision to find him a new home because I was afraid the excessive screaming would cause hearing damage to my little ones, and as patient as my neighbors are they were telling me 3 houses down that they could hear him even when we all had our windows closed! Now they just have to put up with my Umbrella's occasional screaming which is usually only in the mornings and early evenings, which is typical for most all parrots. Even my U2 will scream if I am out of his sight for what he deems too long! All I can say is get use to the screaming because that is pretty typical for Moluccans!

Nov 05, 2008
reinforcement for screaming
by: Charlotte

Hi,

I have a Caique who used to be totally quiet, but now screams the house down sometimes. It started when I went from being the main person in his life living alone, to moving to a home where a husband and children also interacted with him, thus introducing much more INCONSISTENCY in how he was reacted to by different family members.

It sounds like your bird screams because he doesn't like it when you leave the room, which is the same problem I have wit my guy. He can tell (even when covered up!) by the footsteps and front door opening, or by the way we walk in the house even if out of site if it is me, my husband, or the children. If it's me or Daddy, my Caique SCREAMS to let us know he wants OUT.

We have had mixed results in breaking this behavior. An important note though- when your bird screams, make sure he is not hungry, thirsty, hot, cold, frightened, or somehow overstimulated. (Just like a baby!) If one of these is his problem, then remedying the problem should make him happy.

The first try was to ignore him when he screams. Like just turn and walk away and leave the room every time. We then would reward good behavior, by getting him out every time he did something OTHER than screaming. For example, if he hops or flaps, we get him out right away and praise him. The idea is that eventually he will forget that screaming worked before, and latch onto these other ways to get the attention he wants.

The second method that we are working with now, is to first reassure him, because sometimes he gets all emotionally worked up and hysterical.

*First scream: I would warn him once verbally, "Gerry, don't scream."
*Second scream: If he continued, I'd pic him up and give restrained kisses (this establishes me as flock leader, and reassures him at the same time... I don't know if the restrained part is a good idea for cockatoos or not, as they are more headstrong!) Anyway, he gets a little cuddle, then back into the cage.
*Third scream: If he still continues, I cover him up and leave the room.
*Fourth scream: He gets a spray from the squirt bottle. Not this is a trick thing. You never want your bird to fear water, as he needs to bathe. Also, it has to be adjusted enough to a stream (instead of soft mist) that it ANNOYS him, but still soft enough that it won't hurt his eyes. I squirt at his neck and beak.

Once he gets the squirt a couple of times, then he usually stops at step one for at least a few days. "Gerry no screaming." gets him to stop the first time.

The keys are:
1. Making sure his needs are met (like an infant)
2. Being very consistent
3. Making sure he feels loved unconditionally and reassured

Hope this helps!!

Nov 04, 2008
Stop screaming bird
by: Tracie

There are so many possibilities, I don't know where to begin. Have you read the articles on our Parrot Training page.

You can also check out this
Parrot Training help

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