One of the qualities that humans find endearing in birds is their wide range of vocalizations. We enjoy the sweet whistling of songbirds strictly for its beautiful esthetic value. Many people are attracted to parrots by their intelligence and their ability to mimic human speech.
While we may have our own rationale for appreciating the sounds that birds can make, they have reasons for exhibiting this behavior that extends far beyond simply making noise. This form of communication may be used by a bird to attract a mate, give an alarm call to the flock, or simply to announce their presence to the general avian population.
A common trait shared by many species of birds is their ability to vocalize at a very loud level. Warning and contact calls need to travel considerable distances to be of any use, and in some cases, a screaming parrot or eagle can be heard for miles. This ability can be extremely disconcerting for some prospective pet bird owners. These small creatures can make a lot of noise for their size.
Why Are Loud Birds a Problem?
Loud birds such as cockatoos or macaws can pose a real problem for owners with noise concerns. Some reasons that a loud bird may not work in a certain situation include:
- Noise sensitivity – The bird’s owner or family members may be especially sensitive to noise for a variety of reasons. Family members with nervous conditions or PTSD may be negatively impacted by the sudden outbursts of a loud parrot.
- Apartment dwelling – You can be guaranteed that your screaming cockatoo will not be appreciated by your neighbors, and in many cases, you may not be permitted have a loud bird in an apartment setting. Careful research is required if you plan on owning a bird in an apartment.
- Work schedules – If certain family members work at night and need to sleep during the day, the presence of a loud pet bird will quickly become a problem. Telecommuters can also be affected adversely by having a loud bird in the home that can disrupt phone calls or meetings.
Unfortunately for the birds involved, there are many cases where owners cannot tolerate the noise levels of their pets. This leads to potential neglect of the bird, as it is isolated away from the rest of the family to reduce the noise issue. There are also many parrots that end up in bird rescue facilities as their owners have to give them up due to their excessive noise levels according to freedomflightsparrotrescue.ca.
It is in the best interests of the bird and human companions to do thorough research on the bird you intend to purchase or adopt. If you believe the noise they make might pose a problem it is best to choose another species.
Popular Loud Pet Birds
Many birds that are very popular in the pet bird trade can create a problem based on the level of noise they can make. Here are a few of them:
- Cockatoos – Known for their sweet disposition, these are some of the loudest birds around. You really need to be immune to loud noises to live with a cockatoo.
- Conures – Big birds in a small package are how conures are often described and their voice often follows suit. Some varieties, like the Sun Conure and Jenday Conure, can be very loud.
- Macaws – Here is another large and extremely noisy bird that is often obtained for its beauty and intelligence without enough consideration for its loud vocalizations.
- African Grey – Though best known and coveted for their talking ability, these birds can be very loud. Their calls reverberate through the jungle and that just might be too much for your home.
Pet Birds That Are Relatively Quiet
Though all birds will make some sounds, there are some birds available to pet owners that are less noisy than others. Here are some pet birds that may work well for you if you are concerned with the amount of noise they can produce.
- Parakeets/Budgies – These birds are extremely popular with pet owners, and are reasonably quiet. When kept in groups they tend to pleasantly chirp throughout the day, engaging each other in conversation. An occasional loud screech it possible, but on the whole, parakeets are among the quieter per birds. Below is a video of a couple chatting away with each other.
- Pacific Parrotlets – Small parrots with big personalities, according to lafeber.com, these birds are great for apartment dwellers due to their low noise level.
- Senegal Parrots – Senegals are among the quieter species of parrots, though as with all birds they are capable of the occasional outburst. Except for their contact calls when looking for you, they are pretty quiet birds.
- Meyer’s Parrots – Generally these are quiet birds that can be left on their own for extended times during the day. Vocalizations include screeches and growls, with a limited ability to mimic sounds they hear around them.
- Zebra Finches – Small, active birds that have quiet, pleasant voices is a good way to describe Zebra Finches. The males learn complex songs from their fathers that they adapt to make their own, and continue to sing those songs throughout their lives.
- Canaries – Many varieties of canaries exist, and in all of them the male canary sings throughout its life. Young canaries of both sexes sing, but males develop an adult song whereas females stop singing as they mature. Canary voices are extremely pleasant and are one of the main reason these small birds are popular as pets. Below is a video of a talented canary.
- Brown-headed Amazon Parrots – According to beautyofbirds.com, these parrots are quieter than most. They are not the best talkers but are excellent at mimicking sounds and whistles encountered in their environment.
How Quiet is Quiet?
This is the question you must answer if you are considering obtaining a pet bird. While the suggestions above rate low on the noise scale compared to other birds, there are no pet birds that are totally quiet. If long periods of silence are what you crave, then a pet bird is not a good choice. On the other hand, some of these quieter birds might be just the right avian companion for you. You’ll know that they are there, but they won’t scream about it all day long.
I disagree with budgies being Quiet, I have 2 budgies and they are very loud! I can hear them even if I close 2 doors, I can still hear them screaming/chirping. Although I am unfortunately selling them, I look for cockatiels which are more quieter birds with friend’s experience.