Animal Whisperer: Keeping Pet Birds Happy
Kim, please help me! I love my bird, but I can' t stand the constant screaming almost all the time, especially in the morning and in the evening. Actually, sometimes there doesn' t even seem to be a time he stops. He seems to be getting worse as he ages. What can I do? I' ve had my bird, Zeus, for over thirty years, and I don' t want to take him to a shelter or a rescue, but I can' t take it any longer.
— Susan, Houston, Texas
All animals, including birds, not only observe our behavior and moods but also feel and experience them with us. Birds are a prime example of this. Our stress is their stress. Frustration-related behavior includes, but isn' t limited to, screaming, biting, feather picking, and fighting among themselves as a flock. Birds feel our stresses. Their own genetics tell them that stress is danger, usually leading to physical harm or death. When their caregivers become stressed, birds manifest that stress in more negative behaviors.
If your bird is misbehaving, take look at your own stress level. Here is a simple stress-relieving exercises you can do anywhere: Slowly, deeply breathe in; count to three; slowly, deep breathe in; and then slowly deep breathe out. Repeat this three times. This helps you to focus and calm down, and it will make you feel better in general, along with your bird friend.