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Thread: How loud are Blue and Gold macaws?

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    Moderator Tailfeather Community Moderator notredamebird's Avatar
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    How loud are Blue and Gold macaws?

    Has anyone here worked with blue and golds regularly? Have one?

    What is their noise level/vocalization pattern like? Are they screams (like cockatoos)? How do they compare with sun conures? (I already have one, so we're already "in trouble" for whatever level of noise he makes...lol.)

    This is more a curiosity question, but it has a practical thrust. I just became aware of a rescue situation through one of the listservs I'm on (the bird is fine, but the distraught owner must give him up). I emailed back, more in support than anything else--i.e. "if there is something we can do, let us know." The man is in the region, so I figure it can't hurt for him to have contact names.

    Unfortunately, I doubt that we could offer what is probably needed (a permanent home for the bird). We rent. It's a townhome, so no upstairs or downstairs neighbors, but there are next door neighbors. Given that, I assume that any macaw is simply too noisy. At the same time, I'd be interested to hear that those "in the know" say. I've held 'em, but never lived with 'em!

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    Re: How loud are Blue and Gold macaws?

    in my post about the scarlet macaw, Tielguy told me this:

    "More than the weight of the parrot, I would worry about the noise level. I'm sorry but I can't remember what your experience level is with macaws. But if you've ever heard a macaw flock call you'll know that it is ungodly loud. Easily 125+ db in an average sized living room. Consider that a Metalica concert would clock in at around 108 db, and a jet plane taking off would be 150, you get the idea."

    So I'm guessing they're really loud, moreso than a conure, but I've never had one of those so I'm not sure


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    Moderator Tailfeather Community Moderator notredamebird's Avatar
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    Re: How loud are Blue and Gold macaws?

    Yes, I'm pretty certain that the actual alarm call of a macaw is louder. I have heard that...only three times, but I have heard it...and it is loud.

    What I do wonder is how often such a call is sounded...For example, my sun conure lets out a piercing call---I am sure they punch through the walls, as they're high pitch and they carry--but it's only a few times a day, or when he is calling us, such as when we first get home. 95 percent of the time, he occupies himself with much quieter sounds. So I suppose the crucial question is whether the death scream is let loose very occasionally or frequently. There's a huge difference between three warning calls in quick succession, twice a day, plus a greeting or two, and regular screaming sessions. All can annoy someone; but one can get you evicted and the other can't. People might hate the sound, but it it is in the daylight or early evening and infrequent, it can't be chaulked up to worse than a dog barking or a loud child throwing a fit.

    That said, I suspect, but do not KNOW, that most macaws are simply too loud. If so, I obviously don't want to torture neighbors or get evicted. We'd never get rid of a pet...we'd move first...but we'd also rather not get evicted. :-)

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    Re: How loud are Blue and Gold macaws?

    Quote Originally Posted by notredamebird
    Has anyone here worked with blue and golds regularly? Have one?
    yup. quite a few. very sweet birds!

    Quote Originally Posted by notredamebird
    What is their noise level/vocalization pattern like? Are they screams (like cockatoos)? How do they compare with sun conures? (I already have one, so we're already "in trouble" for whatever level of noise he makes...lol.)
    i think that conures are more frequent vocalizers, but when macaws do belt it out, they can be louder. in particular when they scream, not just yell. a noisy conure could make a macaw generally noisier, but maybe not.

    Quote Originally Posted by notredamebird
    Unfortunately, I doubt that we could offer what is probably needed (a permanent home for the bird). We rent. It's a townhome, so no upstairs or downstairs neighbors, but there are next door neighbors. Given that, I assume that any macaw is simply too noisy. At the same time, I'd be interested to hear that those "in the know" say. I've held 'em, but never lived with 'em!
    not necessarily. i live in an urban area where even single family homes are close to one another. many of my macaw clients do just fine, even when the bird screams. are you on good terms with the neighbords? cuz that makes all the diff in the world! and if you have a consistent bedtime (no bird noises past 10 PM, say- neighbors are usually OK with daytime squawking.

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    Re: How loud are Blue and Gold macaws?

    Wow, considering fostering a blue and gold? that would be an experience to remember. Maybe you could try spending a little time with the bird to get an idea...
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    Moderator Tailfeather Community Moderator notredamebird's Avatar
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    Re: How loud are Blue and Gold macaws?

    Quote Originally Posted by Luna1285
    Wow, considering fostering a blue and gold? that would be an experience to remember. Maybe you could try spending a little time with the bird to get an idea...
    Well, vaguely considering. Its hard to know. I know of the situation through a third party. This means that I don't yet know any of the specifics. I think the owner is probably still deciding what to do, and I have no idea what his priorities or choices would be, if indeed he does place his bird. All I know is: (1) the owner needs a temporary or permanent home for the bird, (2) his an older, very nice fellow, and the bird is bonded to him ("crazy for him", as the third party says), (3) the bird 6 years old. The owner is very upset about possibly giving the bird up and if he does, it must go to a good home. Being a bleeding heart, I of course wrote and said I'd do what I could. The third party really appreciates that and I think I am on the possiblities list if the bird indeed needs a home.

    Will anything come of it? I simply don't know. It's just gotten me thinking and researching, in case I suddenly get an email about taking the bird. Depends on the owner; on us; on the bird!

    Quote Originally Posted by Squeak and Howl
    not necessarily. i live in an urban area where even single family homes are close to one another. many of my macaw clients do just fine, even when the bird screams. are you on good terms with the neighbords? cuz that makes all the diff in the world! and if you have a consistent bedtime (no bird noises past 10 PM, say- neighbors are usually OK with daytime squawking.
    That's fascinating to hear. If people are living in close quarters with these birds, then maybe it is something we could consider. I just don't want to be unfair to neighbors or cause too much difficulty to ourselves. Do you get the sense that neighbors are hearing occasional screams? Do you think they hear them "loud and clear" next door?

    ..We don't yet know if we're on good terms with the neighbors, because we are moving into the townhome in question this August. We could have parties and invites folks over in order to jolly them up! The only thing I do know is that the complex is populated largely by graduate students--a good crowd, usually, though a few folks might really like it quiet. Ph.D. students can be anal. (Trust me, I am one! ) It has a lot of small kids (huge playground on premisis) and allows dogs, so I assume that there is some tolerated noise level.

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    Re: How loud are Blue and Gold macaws?

    Right now Charlie is going through a molt/ sexual maturity ( at least thats what I think ) so he is ummm kind of like Dr. Jeckle& Mr. Hyde. He is really grumpy right now and yes he does scream a little more than usual right now. But usually he only does it a few times a day. He usually does it in the morning when everyone first wakes up and start moving around the house, he does it if the tiels start getting loud ( I have 12 tiels, so I don't think it would be as bad if you only have a couple other birds ), he does it sometimes in the afternoon if he gets excited while he is playing, and he does it if you forget to turn off the light when its his bedtime. Actually that does sound like alot of times huh LOL. None of my neighbors seem to mind. The neighbors across the street from me have a macaw and a few doors down from them they have a few birds that you can hear chattering away in there too. It all really depends on the bird though. As for how loud they are.... the first time I heard him scream it sent chills down my spine and scared the heck out of me lol. But now I don't really mind it. It can get annoying sometimes though.... but you kind of get used to it.

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    Re: How loud are Blue and Gold macaws?

    When he screams, how long is it for?

    I forget...is he a Blue and Gold? Or was it scarlet or greenwing?

    It amazing that you have so many birds on your block! I wanna live on your street!

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    Re: How loud are Blue and Gold macaws?

    When he screams its only for a couple seconds. Sometimes he will scream twice ( or 3 times ) in a row but thats usaully in the morning and at night when he wants the lights turned off(I swear he is so silly, he doesn't like to go back in his cage but if you forget to turn the lights off he gets mad lol). Now sometimes he has a fit where he screams for a couple minutes.... like when I'm cooking and he wants to come out of his cage and see what I'm doing. But if you just talk to him from the other room he calms down. He doesn't do that all the time though. Its really not that bad ( well for me at least it might drive some people crazy lol)
    Right now he is screaming a little more than usual .... I'm going to make a different post about that later today though.
    He is a Blue and Gold macaw .

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    Moderator Tailfeather Community Moderator notredamebird's Avatar
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    Re: How loud are Blue and Gold macaws?

    Actually that doesn't sound too bad. 2-3 times a day, for a few seconds, and sometimes for 2-3 minutes when he's feeling particularly intense is way less than I would have expected...

    What does he do the rest of thet time? Talking, quieter noises, playing, etc?

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    Re: How loud are Blue and Gold macaws?

    My friend Judy who breeds quakers also breeds macaws and has a few as pets. Her pet macaws who live in the house vocalize a few times a day, and generally whenever the phone rings. Every bird will be different. In the aviary there's probably close to 60 birds in there, and when one gets going they all start so it is pretty much constant noise in there.

    Macaws aren't like tiels or quakers who produce a fairly constant level of noise. When macaws let it rip they really let it rip. But for the better part of the day they aren't overly loud (at least that's what I've observed in my limited experience with them). However their flock calls are so loud that even if they make them only 5 minutes at a time 3 times a day it is probably enough to annoy neighbours. Depending on the layout and construction of your town house I'd say that your neighbours would probably almost certainly hear the bird, how clearly would be the question. It would greatly depend on whether or not the adjoining walls are concrete or just drywall.
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    Re: How loud are Blue and Gold macaws?

    He plays on his playstand, on top of his cage ( loves to play peekaboo), or in his cage. His favorite place is on me though. I am working on getting him more independent. He doesn't like it if I leave the room. He talks alot when he is on his playstand. He says: Hello, uuuurrrr a gooood biiird LOL, pretty birdy, pretty coo coo bird, awwww, want out, look? ( like if he wants to see what you are doing or what ya have to eat ), look out, good stuff ( sounds weird though ), Just said Hi yesterday for the first time , uh oh, PEEKboo, he laughs and thats all I can think of right now LOL. He doesn't really make any other sounds beside the screaming, he does an eeeeek sound when he is excited though. And his favorite thing to do is bully the cats . He throws stuff at them.

    Yeah he only screams a few times a day most of the time ,but he does have his bad days too where he acts like a little kid throwing a hissy fit. Right now he has been screaming a little more than usaul but I think thats because he is hormonal and he is having a bad molt.

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    Re: How loud are Blue and Gold macaws?

    Hello. I see that this post originated years ago, but I wanted to add my two cents for people who are finding this site via Google searches, like I did. Maybe some of you have some advice for me, as well. Any would be appreciated.

    We are new owners of a Macaw named Maxwell. We live in a townhouse and are very worried about the noise Maxwell makes and how it affects our neighbors! We knew these birds could be loud, but we had no comprehension that this is what we were getting ourselves into. We wouldn't have made the commitment had we understood the level of noise these creatures can make. We understood that Macaws require a lot of time and attention. The seed/poop mess was expected. Noise was expected. But This much noise is overwhelming. Being ashamed around our neighbors (of the noise problems our household now cause) adds to the emotional burden of having a loud housemate.

    Maxwell is well behaved most of the time. He is VERY quiet from dark until about an hour after dawn. He chatters quite a bit throughout the day... most of it at a level that's fine, or sometimes a little bit loud. But periodically, Good Gosh(!), his screeches/screams/squawks are beyond what I can describe. If you haven't experienced it first-hand, you simply cannot understand by reading this thread just How Loud one bird can be. The loud scream-squawks occur in sets of 1 to 20 squawks. I've only heard the 20 squawk version once, when he was protesting being moved. Usually he'll voice 1 to 5 squawks per set. Sometimes Maxwell is quiet all day. But sometimes he has 10 screaming sets in one day. Our worst day started with a vacuuming session in his room (he didn't like the sound of that particular vacuum, i think, and let us know it). Other screams throughout the day were to let us know that he was bored, had lost his favorite toy, wanted to be included in a conversation, and to alert us that a bolt was missing from his cage (he'd taken it off). Yes, he's very active, but we had expected that. We just hadn't expected so many comments from him about it.

    I think most of the squawks are just natural communication. He can't figure out why we get nervous when he's making normal statements any dumb bird would understand. We do notice that he is very sensitive to our moods. If we're upset or worried by his squawks, he becomes more agitated and/or loud.

    We've only had Maxwell for a couple of weeks, and think we'll be able to train him (and be trained by him) to a point we'll have a good life together. We are talking about sound-baffling options, and we may have to move entirely. My advice at this point is: If you've never had a Macaw, go house-sit for someone who is a Macaw owner for a month before you get one. If you live in an apartment, condos, town homes, or even a close-set housing area, your neighbors will be VERY aware that you have a loud, highly vocal bird living with you. As other posters have commented, it depends on how laid-back your neighbors are as to whether you'll receive noise complaints from management or the city. You are also taking a gamble on your bird's temperament... we're lucky that the Macaw we adopted is well behaved. I cannot imagine the heartache of having adopted a parrot with a serious screaming issue.

    Have you ever read Black Beauty? These birds live for years, and I strongly believe each one deserves a good, solid, stable, loving, long-term home. Please... get to know your Macaw before you adopt, rather than being just one among a sting of homes he's shuffled through.

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    Re: How loud are Blue and Gold macaws?

    Sarah, yes they are indeed too loud for most close-to-neighbor areas. Actually, that was featured on ABC family's show "Melissa & Joey" in the last episode! Their neighbor had a Macaw (red) and it was so loud it caused a conflict between them and their neighbor. But it's just what they are and yes you can train them, but you can't eliminate the loud squawks entirely. A good thing to do is introduce your bird to all your neighbors and explain to them sometimes he'll scream, but you are training him and it never lasts too long and won't be going on late at night.

    For sound muffling - you can hang quilts, or get some sort of padding for the walls which will muffle the sound. Shutters or thick curtains on the windows can help too. Basically anything that will add thickness to your walls and interfere with the bouncing of sound.

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    Re: How loud are Blue and Gold macaws?

    Marrie, thanks so much for the reply!

    I'll definitely look into wall hangings. Maxwell is such a delight. I appreciate your feedback & advice!

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