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I have two cockatiels. Neither are particularly tame. Oatis won't be held, Dexter will get onto my hand and that's about it. Both male. Share a large cage indoors. Dexter is a passive, quiet bird. Oatis is a loud, slightly larger bird.

Every now and again, Oatis screams, whistles, sings, shouts and calls all day. Like, literally non stop, whilst Dexter sits quietly and calmly and happilly, plays with his toys, eats, sleeps and occasionally sings a nice little song. Now is one of those times where Oatis is screaming all day long, except it's been going on for about 2 weeks now of screaming every day, all day. (He's actually shut up now, as if he knows I'm writing about him.) Like I said, it's not just screaming or just singing, it's a mixture. From panicked alarm calls to heart wing pacing with beautiful song. The later I don't mind, it's the ear piercing, alarmed screeching that's problematic.

Everywhere suggests this is an attention thing OR it's caused by sounds or sights the bird is worried by. But, my birds aren't tame, and approaching the cage often doesn't shut him up. Calling back to him often doesn't calm him either. Providing food or toys often doesn't shut him up. Even temporarily. We used to have a dog and I thought this behaviour might be caused by her pacing, but she passed away in Feburary, and it still happens. (...I spoke too soon, he's started screaming again. That was maybe 5 minutes of quiet, now it's back to constant noise.) There's no obvious noises or shadows or sights present now that aren't the rest of the time.

So, here's what I'm doing. Please tell me if I'm going wrong... They have a strict bedtime routine when the cage is covered and pitch black as soon as the sun is fully set (that's about 5pm at the moment) until about 7am. Is this too long? They get fed and talked to when I uncover the cage. I ignore the screaming and have instructed others to do the same. If they are being quiet, I've encouraged the house to speak and whistle to them whenever passing and leaving the room. I've moved them to a place in the house where there is less noise but more often people passing. Their diet is varied, they get a mix of harrison's pellets, peas, sweetcorn, seeds, nutriberries, spinach, dandelions, lettuce, cooked couscous and rice and boiled egg. Most seeds are fed via foraging toys to keep them occupied.

So there we have it. Any suggestions or theories or help or criticisms or anything would be really, really, really appreciated. Thanks for reading.
 

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The sleep hours are fine.

Have you tried covering the cage when he screams and uncovering it and giving him a treat when he's quiet? Its positive reinforcement, which tiels understand way better than anything else. Regardless of whether he's tame or not, he wants some kind of attention and by giving him food or toys when he's making these noises, it rewarding him in his eyes for them. Covering him til he's quiet will help him calm down. Also, the whistling at him is a good idea, whenever he makes a sound you like, reward him for it so he makes it more often.
 
J

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I'm going through a similar issue. Rascal has started screaming SUPER loud... as loud as he possibly can and he's doing this for pure pleasure (this has been going on for the past few days, just started). It is HORRIBLE when he does this. He will be singing normally which is really cute, but then suddenly bust out into super loud screams... rapid screams one after the other and they are so loud it's unbelievable. These are not flock calls or calls for attention... he's doing this for pleasure.

I'm covering the cage everytime he does this. I must get a different cover to put on the cage for "time outs" because he continues to sing/scream even when cage gets covered (he won't stop until being covered with it for at least 5 or 10 min)... which means this cover isn't dark enough.

I love it when he sings, but screaming is the worst! =(

EDIT: I'm curious how many here have this same problem... screaming super loud for pleasure? I've never ever had this problem before with a tiel, never.
 

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My two (a male and a female) started being a bit out of control a few weeks ago. They would fly all over the living room (which I don't mind, but this kind of flying was mad flying), perch on the highest spots, scream etc. It sounded like they were getting very hormonal, and my female was hiding in secluded spots, probably looking for a nesting spot.:eek:
What helped was my decision to have their wings clipped, although I really don't like to do that to my birds. But, in this case, it really calmed them both down, I rearranged their cage and now we are back to my sweet, calm birds again.
So, maybe you should consider that. Perhaps his hormones are up and he is looking for a mate?
 
J

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If you're responding to my prob (sorry didn't mean to hijack thread... not sure if you're responding to me or other person), Rascal is only 4 months old, so it's not hormonal. His wings are also clipped even though he will be due soon to have them reclipped.

I do notice it's funny how they really do get an attitude when they realize they can fly.
 
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When I was younger I was around tiels constantly as my dad owned them. I've NEVER ever had this problem or seen this problem of screaming super loud just for pleasure.

Hopefully he will eventually catch on when I cover him to try to get him out of this obnoxious behavior. I love it when he sings, he could sing all day, but this screaming is nonsense.
 

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If you're responding to my prob (sorry didn't mean to hijack thread... not sure if you're responding to me or other person), Rascal is only 4 months old, so it's not hormonal. His wings are also clipped even though he will be due soon to have them reclipped.

I do notice it's funny how they really do get an attitude when they realize they can fly.
Actually I was responding to the original poster:)
 
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