Why do birds scream?

Boy if we had THE answer we’d be writing this from our yacht. But of course I have to weigh in here. What got me thinking about the subject of “why birds scream,” is some recent web surfing.

I spend my days doing what many of you wish you could be doing, surfing the web for bird toys and parrot cages. The magic of the internet enables us to shop the world. In order for us to provide the best possible shopping experience. We look at lots of sites and products. Pricing is important but not our priority. We feel good information about parrots and general avian issues is the most important product we can offer. And we offer that for free. We like to know who’s selling what. We also like to see how well they’re selling it i.e. is the site easy to navigate. Do they offer multiple payment choices and so forth?

But I digress – So here I am on the of a national chains of pet supply products. They have an FAQ for bird ownership. Something we always applaud. Well I’m reading the list and one of the topics is Why is my bird screaming? No real explanation is offered and at the end of the paragraph they recommend taking your parrot to a vet if screaming persists.

Yikers! Screaming parrots – vets – why?

Let’s look at this logically folks, not that parrots are logical but they are creatures of habit. One of the things we learned from Michelle Karras www.thepoliteparrot.com is silence means danger! If you have a flock of wild parrots in trees (in their natural environment) or even a flock of local wild birds in your back yard. On any given sunny day a flock of birds will make a lot of noise – it’s all about FLOCK. Chirp, chirp, scream, scream. What are they communicating about? Same things we do. “Find any food lately? Yeah they had a great sale on worms about a mile from here.”

SILENCE means danger! If you’ve ever seen a hawk fly over a flock of wild birds, you swear you can hear the sound of the hawk’s wings flapping. That’s one of the reasons parrots come in so many colors. If they’re quiet and deep in a tree they are difficult to spot. When that danger passes its chirp, chirp, scream, scream. So again I ask, “is screaming a reason to run to the vet? I don’t think so.

Something we hear a lot of is – people will have a screaming bird (usually newbie’s) and the bird will scream for whatever reason. What does their human companion do? Yell SHUT UP! And what does the parrot do? SCREAM SOME MORE!

Again I fall back on my good friend logic. The bird screams, you scream back. Do you think there may be a slight chance that when you scream back the bird might be thinking “hey – this is great!  Someone is finally squawking back at me “hey SCREAM, SCREAM, please scream back some more, I’m lonely you’re my flock and I need to talk to someone than you?”

Begin to see where I’m going with this grasshopper? OK so now you know one of the whys. Here’s a little tip form Michelle Karras www.thepoliteparrot.com that may work for you:

Excessive screaming is a learned behavior that we teach our birds.  Covering your feathered companion with a blanket, teaches him or her that you will cover the cage when scream gets out of hand.

Yelling at a screaming parrot, gives the parrot the attention it seeks.  Ignoring a screaming parrot is not the answer either. Ignoring bird’s screams could result in finding injuries too late (or water had run out).  Options are to make sure all your Psittacines needs are satisfied.  Large hygienic cage, clean water, fresh food, working toys. Twelve hours of sleep (uninterrupted), soft wood and other materials to chew, and plenty of exercise.

Start with a signal to stop loud parrots. Ring a cowbell (or bang a pot)  in the room next to the screaming bird. They hear the bell (sound), they stop to listen, Show up from the other room while they are quiet to praise and reward. Set them up to succeed.  Use a time when you know they are quite loud. Distract them with a new noise in the next room.  As soon as they stop to listen, appear and praise.

Lengthen the time between the signal and your appearance each time.  Try and take a whole day at first and only work with the parrot and the screaming. Initial rewards should be substantial, a known favorite treat. Use the same signal just before feeding fresh food.  Wait until the parrot is noisy; give the signal, praise, and feed.

Not all parrots will quiet down for the same signal so you may have to try several noises before finding the one that works for you.

Note: Do not use your voice. They may try to mimic you.

Scream time is a time during the day that you allow your parrots to be noisy.  This should be given somewhere between 3p.m. and 7p.m. each day.  Encourage your parrots by playing stimulating music. Dance, sing or scream along with them. Scream time should last no less than 15minutes and no more than 1/2 hour each day.

Some parrots enjoy screaming to the vacuum, this is fine to encourage but play music as well.  Find music that your parrot gets excited over. Use that same song every day for scream time. Change the music from time to time but be consistent overall.  When Scream time is over, lower the music volume Talk your parrot down. Lower the music slowly, turn it off, and play their relaxation code music. Give them afternoon snacks when “cool down” is over.

Birds will wait for their “Scream Time” because they know they will be rewarded for their patience.…

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Do You Want To Find a Purebred Cat?

For some of us, a common-or-garden Tom cat is not enough. We want quality feline company with a pedigree and the only way to guarantee that a cat is a purebreed is to contact one of the national cat associations or similar organisations in other countries.

To find a purebred cat, you may start with the Cat Fancier’s Association. The CFA was created to maintain breed standards and to register litters as purebreds. The association also holds cat shows and judges them based on how closely they adhere to the standards. They recognize only 41 breeds of cats.

The breeder registers a litter of kittens with the Cat Fancier’s Association. Then they have the option of deciding whether or not to allow the kitten to be bred. Only cats with a pin number on their registration forms will be eligible to have their kittens registered. This allows the breeders to continue to better their breeds. Once the litter is registered, each kitten will need to be individually registered by its new owner.

There are three categories of recognized cats. They are the Championship Class, the Provisional Class, and the Miscellaneous Class. Each bred that the CFA recognizes is in one of these groups. They must win first place in their breed and then their class before they can compete for the title of best in show.

The Championship Class are those cats who are established cat breeds. The breeds in the Provisional Class have been more recently established. They are still being watched to insure that they conform to the new breed standard. Finally, the one breed currently in the Miscellaneous Class is still having a breed standard created and cannot actually compete for the best in show title.

In Canada, you can register your cat in the Canadian Cat Association. This association was formed by Canadians who did not want to register their cats with an association in another country. There are other popular cat registries including the Traditional Cat Association, which supports original breed standards and does not uphold current trends that exaggerate breed characteristics, the Governing Council of the Cat Fancy, which is the United Kingdom’s cat registry, and the Fédération Internationale Féline, which is the European cat registry.

All cats fit into one of two categories. They are either short hair or long haired. Short haired are breeds like the Abyssinian and British Shorthair. The long haired beads include Turkish Angora and Norwegian Forest Cats. The most popular of them all is the American Shorthair which has been in the US for over 300 years. They have been carefully bred for generations to develop characteristics that would appear in each kitten born. Others include the Siamese, the Rex, the Main Coon, the Ragdoll and the Persian.

Choosing a cat with a pedigree allows you to choose a cat that has the characteristics that you want it to have. They are no more affectionate than other cats but they can be a prized possession no matter what.

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Dog, Foe or Friend

Of all the animals of the world the dog has proved itself the most adept at learning. Dog obedience is a very desirable aspect of dog and man relationship, but unfortunately most dogs even though domesticated, lack dog obedience.

This singular characteristic of dogs, however, has not discouraged man from keeping dogs as his best friend. Rather a lot of effort has been made to teach dogs obedience and responsibility. To this end lots of dog trainers, dog schools and books are now available for dog owners who are desirous of transforming their dogs into humanlike companions having the capabilities to think fast enough to react to different commands and thereby answer to the others needs.

Dogs have been trained for use by the Police, the army, the physically challenged and these dogs have equated themselves quite creditably. There are stories of Dogs who have saved their master’s lives and property. Trained dogs engage in sporting competitions and have worn laurels for their owners. Other trained dogs have been of immense value during search and rescue operations after natural, accidental or terrorist disasters.

Cotton Plush Toys

But none of this praise worthy dog actions is possible without good dog training. Untrained dogs are very dangerous and become nuisance to the family and society at large. Untrained dogs are known to have the habit of chewing up things in the house especially shoes and furniture; putting their mouths in food items and generally disrupting the normal family set up. Dogs aggressions have caused both health problems and even deaths to family members , strangers and neighbours.

This situation has led to many dog owners killing or sending into the streets their former pet dogs. Most of which can be found in shelters all over the country. Now let me say that a dog is not responsible for its level of intelligence, rather its owner is responsible for a dogs behaviour. The truth is that a dog is capable of learning, so it behoves dog owners to ensure that their dogs get real training in order to get the best out of them.

That the relationship between man and dog is inalienable is so obvious. What is not quite clear is whether all dog owners are well informed as to how to go about ensuring that their dogs get the training that makes them responsible members of society.…

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