The ramblings of a giant squid…
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So you want a parrot? (Addendum)

Friends-Romans-Countrymen, Parrots

Oh yes… there’s one other thing about parrots.

Parrots are loud.  They are some of the loudest birds, or indeed, land animals, on the planet.

You have to be prepared for that.  They’ll scream when they want attention.  They’ll scream just to see if you’ll answer back.  They’ll scream because it’s morning, or because it’s evening, or just for something to do.

And while you can train them and REDUCE the screaming, you’ll never get rid of it.  So you have to be ready.

This means that parrots are really not a good choice for keeping in multi-unit dwellings or situations: apartments, duplexes, dorm or barracks rooms, row houses, HOA with anal-retentive neighbours.

The noise isn’t related to the size of the bird.  While large parrots are loud, the second loudest parrot is the Sun Conure – a little thing about twice the size of a budgie.  The loudest is the Moluccan cockatoo.

How loud is loud?  Well, I recently attended a show with a hard rock band.  I sat about 4m from the stage and measured 109 dBA on my meter.  My macaw, at 4m from her cage has been measured at 107 dBA.  That means my macaw is about as loud as a heavy metal band.  I know, from reports from my neighbours, that she can be heard from one end of our neighbourhood to the other… that’s a circle 1 km wide with traffic in it.

A Moluccan or Sun Conure would run 130 dBA, give or take.  That’s a lot louder.

To get a feel for this, turn the volume on your computer up full, then play this video over and over for 20 to 30 minutes.

That’s basically every day for the rest of your life.

As it happens, my macaw is not screamy, although she does, from time to time.  I’m also rather hard of hearing, and by a stroke of luck, the acoustics in my house dull it a bit.  Not enough to prevent the neighbourhood crows from mimicking macaw song though.

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