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Thread: Should I get another tiel - screaming whenever I'm not with him?

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    Should I get another tiel - screaming whenever I'm not with him?

    Hi, my male tiel (Yuki) is about 7 months old now and while it took a while for us to bond as he was pretty much a wild bird, I think I have the opposite problem now in that we're too bonded!

    He's the only bird I have and I try and spend as much time as I can with him, he's generally a pretty vocal boy as he loves a good sing and a whistle, but recently I can't leave his sight without him screaming non-stop. I can't even go in the kitchen to cook food or wash the pots without him screaming, even though the kitchen is visible from his cage! From what I've read I'm assuming that he's panicking and screaming because his one and only flock member has left him on his own, and I've tried whistling and calling back to him, but it doesn't stop the screaming. I've tried giving him treats when he's quiet and I've tried leaving the room and letting him scream it out but unfortunately, I live in an apartment and I don't think my neighbours would appreciate the screaming so I can't really keep trying that method!

    I've thought about getting another tiel for a while, not only because of the screaming but also because I feel guilty whenever I have to leave him alone anyway (I'm out for most of the day at work). I wasn't going to rush out and get another bird before as he seemed fairly happy, but now he's started with the screaming I'm wondering if it would be the best option. I'm hoping that if he has another flock member, he wouldn't be so panicky and screamy whenever I'm not with him, and the screaming wouldn't happen whenever I'm out of his sight. I am obviously worried as well though that I could end up with two screamers!

    My dad has a very placid budgie so I brought him over last night and I'm going to keep him for a few days (in the same very large cage when I'm around to supervise and in separate cages when I'm not), just to see what effect another bird has on Yuki. So far it's been very very quiet except for Yuki singing to the budgie, which I love! While they're not very friendly with each other, they're also not aggressive - there may be a bit of a peck if personal space is invaded, but there's no chasing or aggression from either of them with each other. Yuki has, however, become more aggressive at me when I go to scratch him in the cage or on the floor which is very unusual, but also he's sat on my shoulder as I'm typing this and accepting scratches now so I'm not sure what the deal is there.

    This budgie however is also very quiet itself and very rarely makes any noise, so I'm not sure what Yuki would do with another vocal bird. I enjoy the whistling and singing, and can handle some screaming as that's just what birds do, but it's the constant screaming whenever I leave the room that's the issue. I know the general advice is usually to have two cockatiels anyway, but I'm just wondering what people think would happen in my situation if another tiel is introduced. I would get another male by the way, as I don't want to risk any breeding.

    Thanks!

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    Re: Should I get another tiel - screaming whenever I'm not with him?

    I am thinking maybe Yuki is feeling hormonal because they usually do get noisy when they are having raging hormones. Its hard to keep them quiet and we just learned to live with it. Another male might be good as a buddy but its possible Yuki might not like him.
    Fly Free Boomer, we will forever love you.

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    Re: Should I get another tiel - screaming whenever I'm not with him?

    I agree with Deanna! I feel it is hormones. They can go to bed one night, being their cheerful self, and wake up the next day with this behavior you are seeing in Yuki. It will last a few weeks. Biting, screaming, dive bombing, where they fly around diving into or trying to dive into your head. Hormones make them do crazy stuff!

    Since he has taken to the budgie, and is dissing you, that is sure to be a male/female thing. Now if you had a friend or a partner, he would probably be doing the same thing to them, because he would be considering you to be his mate.

    I have read where some owners take their birds for a slight wing clip. That seems to tamp down the aggression and screaming somewhat, but be sure to get a professional very well educated person to do the wing clip, because a bad clip can be a nightmare for the bird and you.

    I think this is about the right age for Yuki to begin hormones and puberty. One minute they are happy like before, and the next minute they are ready to bite you. And also, you will see him using a toy, or a perch, to release his sexual urges. I suggest giving him a couple of extra hours of sleep each night. Also, avoid feeding cooked foods, such ax sweet potato, or soft breads, because both tend to uptake hormones.

    And if it were me, I would not get a friend for him until this behavior passes. We will welcome your updates anytime.
    Last edited by maxollie; 01-20-2020 at 02:17 PM.

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    Re: Should I get another tiel - screaming whenever I'm not with him?

    Thanks guys! I did wonder if hormones could be an issue but just gravitated towards it being a bond issue due to what I'd read online. He has been screamier than usual in general since around new year, but I've only just recently started to notice him getting really screamy when I leave him, he never used to be this bad. Could that still be down to hormones, like because his 'potential mate' is leaving him?

    The aggression has also literally only just started now that sparkle has been round, and sparkle is a boy. The only other time he's been aggressive with me before this is when he's been on a screaming fit... Come to think of it, hormones would explain that?

    A couple of weeks ago I did start to wonder about hormones as he started having these screaming fits even when I was sat next to him that weren't contact calls, they were really loud, shrill shrieks that almost sounded like a growl? Not sure how to explain the sound but they were much worse than his usual contact calls screams. I noticed whenever he was doing these screams that he'd be perched on one particular food bowl that is placed underneath one of his rope perches, if this means anything?

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    Re: Should I get another tiel - screaming whenever I'm not with him?

    Yes, he could be planning to use that food bowl for his mating toy! He will sit on the bowl, and rub his underside on it, and swish his tail back and forth. I will tell you, that the first time they get into hormones, I think really is confusing to them to suddenly have those feelings, and as a result they have obnoxious behaviors. As they get older, I have found they still of course have them, but have gotten used to those feelings, and are not quite as aggressive, nor loud. Oh yes, you will know he is into them, but hopefully not to this degree.

    I also think that the pellets that some feed their birds, also causes more hormones, because most pellets have soy beans or soy in them, and soy is a natural hormone in itself.

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    Re: Should I get another tiel - screaming whenever I'm not with him?

    Tikki my daughters Conure gets downright mean when he is hormonal and will attack anyone who dares walks into the house when he is outside of his cage. He also gets very loud and obnoxious and does the swishy rub rubbing on his perches. It lasts sometimes up to a month so if this is hormones be prepared for it to be happening for awhile.
    Fly Free Boomer, we will forever love you.

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    Re: Should I get another tiel - screaming whenever I'm not with him?

    Yep, think it's definitely hormones because he's now taken to randomly attacking my face! His wings are clipped so at least he can't dive bomb me, but he does now just randomly turn very aggressive and attacks my ears, neck, cheek - I think I need to be leaving him off my shoulder for the time being. It's awful when he does this because if I try to remove him, he just attacks my hand and gets even more angry!

    I can't quite gauge when the hormones started though - I noticed him being really screamy around New Year but I chalked this up to him being in a different environment (I was staying with my family which always results in quite a loud environment whereas Yuki is used to it being very quiet at home). I didn't notice him being aggressive at me until I introduced the budgie, so I'm not quite sure if the introduction of the budgie triggered his hormones in a way that meant he was aggressive towards me, though he is much much quieter now. I'm hoping the hormones started a while ago so hopefully they'll be over quicker!

    I'll try covering his cage a couple of hours earlier at night for a while. He currently gets around 11 hours of darkness a night so I'll try upping this to around 13 to see if that helps.
    Last edited by Supadackles; 01-29-2020 at 02:49 PM.

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    Re: Should I get another tiel - screaming whenever I'm not with him?

    Abbie, I am in total agreement with both Ellen and Deanna. Unfortunately our little feathered friends don't come with their own personal owners manual. Right now my male tiel is hormonal and I have shortened the amount of daylight he is getting. He is averaging about 14 hours of sleep. As the daylight hours begin to increase, so does their hormones. To look on the brighter side, it does eventually pass in about 2 weeks to a month, but just remember, it does happen once or twice a year. His screaming will eventually subside. At times, they do get a bit of separation anxiety which causes them to scream / screech. Perhaps you can play a radio on low volume with easy listening music or what my husband does now is that he will play something from audible books from the computer in his room (my home office too) and will discuss with the bird about the events of the story. He calls it book club with the bird. He just started this after the first of the year.. I think I may have him committed.. LOL!!
    Tango / White Faced Pied Male: Hatched on October 09, 2011 - Homed on April 28, 2012.

    Tiels:
    Bows / Normal Gray Hen: 1976 - 1984
    Caesar / Normal Gray Male: 1977 - 1994
    Piper / Lutino Hen: 1994 - 2010
    Woodstock / Normal Gray Male: 2004 - 2011

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    Re: Should I get another tiel - screaming whenever I'm not with him?

    Visiting a different environment at Xmas probably did move the hormones ahead somewhat, because there were other people there, and as you say, he was used to being in a quiet environment. It will pass!! Time and patience are on your side. Do be prepared for some nasty bites, because they can decide to bite in a nano second.
    Last edited by maxollie; 01-30-2020 at 10:33 AM.

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    Re: Should I get another tiel - screaming whenever I'm not with him?

    It is sort of like having a human baby, and before long the child is walking, and talking, and then comes the "terrible twos". And soon it is time for kindergarten. It is kind of sad in some respects, because baby birds are so precious, and loving, and it seems suddenly we see have their behavior change, and we realize they are growing into adult birds. (Sigh)!

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