Have you ever been startled by a loud shriek in an unexpected location? Sometimes it can be so loud and so confusing that it can make you question your sanity. Sometimes it is your fire alarm going off, and sometimes, it can be your parrot playing pranks on you. Often, macaws and cockatoos top the charts for their vocal range.
Which one is more notorious than the other?
It turns out that cockatoos have a higher vocal range than macaws. A macaw’s vocal range limits to 105 dB whereas a cockatoos vocal range limits to 135 dB. A human ear will perceive 1 dB increment in sound to 10 times the noise. Hence, Cockatoos are perceived to be louder than Macaws.
Yet, they are not the loudest of their group – we have another winner in this screaming game. Are you looking forward to adopting a macaw or cockatoo? Here’s what you need to know.
Do Macaws And Cockatoos Scream As Loud As A Jumbo Jet?
Macaws and cockatoos are known for their loud calls. Many articles have tried to compare the noise with that of a howling jumbo jet. But we feel that it is an unfair comparison and the point needs more clarity.
What they don’t tell you is from which point is the noise is being perceived. A normal human speaking voice is approximately 70 decibel(dB).
A person who shouts would measure almost 86-88 dB in the vocal range. They are comparing a noise made by Jumbo jet that is flying miles above the ground to a parrot that is confined to limited space and is possibly near you.
A better comparison would be if you can hear them when you leave them in a low sound-absorption room even when you are 15 feet away. The clear answer to that is – yes, you definitely can!
To get an idea of what kind of noise both parrots produce, watch the video below:
The Chattier One Of The Two
While both of them give a loud call, you can expect them to do this twice to thrice a day – one at dusk, one at dawn, and one at nightfall. Both of them would be only screaming for 20-25 minutes a day in total. These calls are often a ritual to call and alert the members of their ‘flock’.
After they are done with their screaming ritual, one remains relatively quieter than the other. Macaws are not known to be too chatty. They would engage with you and would love to remain social but they are not as chatty as cockatoos.
Cockatoos love a company and wouldn’t shut up most of the time.
Measures To Control Their Loud Mouth
The first rule of love is to change yourself to change the other person. If you want to tame any of these species into their better behavior, then you have to make a lot of changes. It starts from their environment to how you train them. This is how you proceed.
1. Adopt parrots from breeders as opposed to sellers
Try not to buy birds from sellers who are eager to sell you a bird. Rather, adopt birds from breeders who are devoted to the cause of rehabilitating these birds to better homes.
2. Try to know the history of the parrot in case it has been with someone else before
They could have been in trauma from past experiences. Know that you would need to love them harder and more consistently to make them trust you.
3. Make them a part of your ‘flock’
The very first rule of keeping a pet is to make it a part of the family – not treat it as a secondary pet. This rule is set in stone for birds, especially parrots. They want to feel like they are a part of the flock – you and your family.
4. Give them a room to exercise their independence
It would be better if you can provide them with a room of their own where they can fly comfortably. They cannot always be caged and expected to behave. They need more social time and space.
5. The reason why they make loud calls is to ensure you are there
Sometimes they do that out of fear of abandonment. If there is a chance that your parrot will be alone while you are away for work, try a different pet.
6. Train them to keep themselves entertained while you are away
Offer them toys that would keep them occupied. Give them adequate attention and set a tone for the kind of interaction that would be stable and predictable for them.
This would help deter any kind of anxious behaviors such as plucking and loud calls.
7. Change their toys, surrounding, and routine accordingly
As your parrot will go through its younger years to maturity, there will be many personality changes. They are just like us in many ways. Try to keep things interesting for them and always anticipate that their dynamic personality can demand your love and attention at any point.
We can help you a little bit with keeping toys interesting for your parrot here:
- 8 baby toys parrots are allowed to play with
- Do parrots like swings?
- Are rope perches good for parrots?
8. You can cover your walls with sound-absorbing materials
If you are dedicated to keeping these loudmouths in your home, you can also go ahead and create a sound-proof room that would keep the noises inside.
Carpets, foam padding, and fiberglass insulation are one of the best sound absorbers. This move would keep you and your neighbors considerably happy.
These are some of the soundproofing items you can buy from Amazon:
1) Burton Acoustix Series Dense Soundproofing Panels
2) Mybecca Acoustic Panels Studio Foam Wedges
3) Ice Blue/Charcoal Acoustic Panels Studio Foam Egg Crate
Are They Worth The Shot?
Absolutely! If you want a life-long companion who talks back, cuddles and has a vivacious persona, parrots are the one for you. Even conures, macaws, and cockatoos become calmer and more mature if you know how to love them right.
These little mischievous birds are often innocent and offer a lot of love in return. While it is always preferred that parrots should remain in the wild, they can also adapt well in captivity if they feel they are at ‘home’ with you.
Nevertheless, you should never expect a parrot not to give loud calls. This comes with the package and if you are not ready for it, do not try with it.
To show you how hard it can be to take care of macaws, read the following articles:
- 8 Facts that show how messy macaws are
- Are macaws hard to take care of?
- 10 Reasons why your macaw is so aggressive!
Which other parrots are loud in nature? Apart from conures, macaws, and cockatoos, psittacula (111 dB), quaker (113 dB), eclectus (115 dB), and amazon (124 dB) also come in the list of loud parrots. They are loud enough to be heard from miles.
Which are the quieter ones in parrots? Parrotlet (65 dB), budgies (68 dB), cockatiels (75 dB), lovebird (83 dB), and poicephalus (89 dB) are quieter in nature. Their calls are mostly sweet and wouldn’t hurt your ears when abruptly called.
Can I have other birds paired with louder species of parrots? Yes, only if ready for the challenge. You need to make sure that both of the birds are of the same size. In case you already have a small bird, try to have a baby parrot that would grow up with them. This way, the bigger one will not bully the smaller one.