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Endless Screaming after Sundown

Discuss the methods and techniques of clicker training, target training and bonding. These are usually the first steps in training a young parrot.

Endless Screaming after Sundown

Postby TYS_ » Thu Dec 21, 2017 5:30 pm

Over the past few months, my parrot and I have been getting close, and we've bonded well. I give a lot of credit to Michael's book.

However, I have this issue that arises every day. The sun goes down really early as of right now in New York. It's at about 4:40 PM or so. My parrot can't help but hang upside down and scream for hours straight. She flaps her wings and screams; waits a few seconds and then does it again.

My solution has been to cover her (which then she will eat through the cage cover, so I'm no longer covering her cage because I don't want this behavior to continue) or to put her in a dark room and wake her up a few hours later.

This screaming also occurs when the TV is on, music is playing from speakers and things like that. But only when it's sundown.

Is she trying to sleep and I'm bothering her? She's up for like 5 hours a day if this is the case. Does she want a nap?

I appreciate any advice or explanation you may have.
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Re: Endless Screaming after Sundown

Postby Pajarita » Fri Dec 22, 2017 10:54 am

Yes, she wants to go to bed. Birds follow the sun [think of chickens and the birds out in the trees]. They wake up when there is the smallest amount of light on the sky and, as soon as the sun starts to go down, their bodies start getting ready for eating dinner and going to sleep [because when the sun light hits the atmosphere at an angle -as when it's going up or down- the light changes colors and the birds photoreceptors -cells that 'sense' light- in their brains register this change]. It's the way nature evolved them and the only healthy way to keep them because, if you expose them to artificial light before dawn and after sunset, you end up screwing up their endocrine system and they produce sexual hormones all year round which makes them overly hormonal [read: physically uncomfortable and sexually frustrated which means screams, aggression, plucking, etc]. You need to turn off the artificial lights at around 3 pm this time of the year and cover the cage with a black out material once she is asleep. You will also need to keep noise down to a minimum so she can sleep in peace.
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Re: Endless Screaming after Sundown

Postby liz » Sat Dec 23, 2017 8:27 am

I open my eyes while I am sleeping. I have always done it. If the room is dark and I don't see anything then I wake up. If there is a night light I look around and just stay asleep.

My kids do the same. They are 40+ now and still need a night light.

I used to cover the cages at night in the winter to keep the birds warm. They did not sleep well when covered. I left peep holes at the end of the perches so they can look out. It is still dark inside but with a night light they stay calm. They scream for me when it is too dark.
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Re: Endless Screaming after Sundown

Postby Pajarita » Sat Dec 23, 2017 11:37 am

Liz, birds are not people. There are no night lights where they evolved to live. Have you ever being in an old forest in the middle of the night? I have and believe me when I tell you that you can't even imagine how dark it is! You can't see two feet in front of your face and that's the way it's supposed to be for them at night. Studies have shown that even the light from a city far away affects wild birds endocrine systems so leaving a night light on is not a good idea and this is not my opinion, it's what scientists have found in their studies:

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2 ... 080302.htm

https://news.nationalgeographic.com/new ... d-warning/

https://www.theguardian.com/science/grr ... -pollution
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Re: Endless Screaming after Sundown

Postby liz » Sun Dec 24, 2017 8:45 am

Sorry about that. My critters are my kids.

All my kids including Cockatiels nap between 2 pm and 4 pm. Rainbow tells me "nite nite" around 7 pm. She is telling me that I should go to bed.

Their personalities are outstanding and I do forget they are not kids.
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Re: Endless Screaming after Sundown

Postby seagoatdeb » Wed Jan 03, 2018 4:44 am

There is moonlight so in the wild they get some light, especially on full moon, so I would think they can adust to some light and a night light is not very bright. I would weigh how much it calms them down so they can sleep as opposed to how much it might affect their system by not having more darkness, because stress is very hard on them too.

Its pretty dark at my place at night and i dont cover mine. But if i have occasional insomnia, I will be in the same room with them with low lights and they sleep. They are happy heathy parrots so i am not going to change it, but I live in Canada and there are lots of hours of darkness right now, so they are getting a lot of dark. in the spring and summer I am outside gardening and i sleep better so the parrots are always nice and dark at night.

i forget they are not kids too Liz.
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Re: Endless Screaming after Sundown

Postby Pajarita » Thu Jan 04, 2018 1:06 pm

Seagoatdeb, you are thinking of moonlight in an clearing because, in a thick forest, the canopy stops the light of the moon from reaching down. That actually only has some bearing on the argument because cockatiels are not found in rainforests or thick old-growth forests, they mostly live on the sides of rivers in a territory that is otherwise arid so they would be more exposed to moonlight than, say, amazon parrots or macaws. But the light of the moon is completely different from artificial light and that is the point. We forget about these things because we are so used to having and using artificial light when it gets dark that we really pay no mind to this detail but it's important when you are dealing with an undomesticated animal that is terribly opportunistic in their breeding as tiels are. Moonlight is not a real light but the reflection of sunlight so that not only diminishes the actual light reducing it to an average of less than .1 lux but also changes the spectrum completely. There is even a special name for the moonlight characteristic of appearing blue or silver - I forget the name now but it's the last name of the guy who discovered it [he was a famous polymath, something that I have always aspired to be and the one that came up with the word protoplasma] and the reason why astronomers don't estimate colors of stars when the moon is bright as it distorts the actual color perception.
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