Hang around with a macaw at a friend’s house or aviary for a while, and you will eventually hear them screaming, squawking and being very loud, which leads you to wonder, are macaws REALLY that loud?!
Are macaws loud? A macaw scream registers at 100-106 decibels. Macaws are not loud because they like to be noisy for fun. Macaws are loud because they are social creatures and enjoy talking with other people and birds. That´s why their noises can be EXTREMELY loud as it is a natural trait.
Now you know that macaws are not loud because they are trying to annoy their keepers or do it for the fun of it.
Rather, this is a natural gift of the macaw that is useful in the wild. To learn how to work with your macaw, read on and we can give you some ideas.
How Loud Macaws are and Why They Scream
Sadly, noise levels and the screaming of macaws are the reason that they are given away for rehoming, or worse, left homeless.
A macaw scream registers at 100-106 decibels. To compare, this is the same noise level as the use of an outboard motor, the use of a large lawnmower, a jackhammer, or a jet takeoff at 1000 feet.
It is also the noise level of a Bell J-2A helicopter if it were 100 feet above. Note that most of these situations have people wearing ear protection.
Macaws are very vocal creatures, and yet many people think that they can “turn off” or train their parrot to be quiet.
The noise MUST be accepted if you are to be a good bird keeper. However, you can do things that will keep the noise to a (somewhat) minimum.
Macaws use their vocal talents to communicate. In the wild, macaws are part of a flock.
This is a safe and wonderful place for the macaw, as it guards against predators, gives birds a chance to “hang out” with others of his same species, work together to find food, find a mate and then nest and raise little ones.
When you keep a macaw in your home, YOU become the flock. Your parrot will speak with you the same way he would speak with his flock if he was in the wild.
However, us humans do not speak the language of parrot, so this becomes problematic.
The screams you sometimes hear from your macaw are called “contact calls.” These vocal cries are very common and happen when parrots become separated in the wild. They will call out in an attempt to find the flock and get back together.
Pet birds sometimes feel abandoned when we leave them during the day for work or school, or even when we make our way to a different room.
Then when we do not come back into the room, the screaming only gets louder and louder.
Then us humans come running into the room, fearful that something really bad has happened. This leads the macaw to believe that all it takes is a scream to be reunited with the flock.
So what is a pet owner to do in order to get things done but still keep their bird in a good mood?
Simple: Just answer her back with a phrase that’s easy to hear. You might say, “Be right back!” or “I’m over here!” and this may work if you are consistent about it.
The bird will eventually learn that your callback means you are still around and that you will be back soon.
Bird keepers can also bring their pet into the room with them whilst doing whatever task must be completed; one way to make this easier is to have several perches around the home so you can do this.
We also recommend reading this article: Who is louder? Macaws or Cockatoos?
Can You Stop Macaws from Being Loud?
First, understand that the noises of a bird are natural. You cannot make him or her stop being noisy; that would be like asking a human to stop yawning when they feel tired or yelling out in pain when they stub their toe.
You can, however, keep your pet mentally stimulated and happy to minimize the sounds that she makes.
Birds do not simply make noise because they are calling for their flock, they do this because they get bored, feel injured, need exercise, and feel sick.
Other times, they may feel really joyful and simply have to shout it out! All birds, not just macaws, will be vocal at some point during the day.
Many parrots do their vocalizing early in the morning and late afternoon, as is done while in the wild.
It is important to remember you let your bird express himself. He is happy to be living and with you and your family. Also, note that macaws adjust to the noise level of a given house.
If your home has televisions, vacuums, noisy kids, dogs or radios, your macaw will make lots of noise, too. Try quieting down your home and this may help with quieting down your macaw, too.
If your bird is left alone too long, they may scream because there is simply nothing else to do. They may also do it because it gets a fellow bird or human in the room to pay them some attention.
How Can I Help My Macaw?
You should accept that caring for macaws is never easy and some owners never manage to stop unwanted behavior in their macaws. We recommend reading our article on why it is so hard to take care of macaws here!
You should leave your macaw with a variety of food, toys, and perches each day for optimum mental stimulation and relaxation. We show you the perfect toys for huge parrots in this article.
And, be ready to play with your macaw. You should aim for an hour of playtime each day, and 3-4 hours of outside cage time. Your bird needs this exercise, whether it is by flying around in an enclosed place or flapping his wings in a vigorous fashion.
This helps burn off some of that energy that makes a parrot feel nervous, anxious, or stressed out. You should use the outside time to interact with your bird if there are no others around, she is bonded closely with.
Birds require lots of social interaction to stay happy and entertained. Birds that are not feeling well maybe noisier, but in most cases, birds get quieter when illness is involved.
Make sure you are knowledgeable about your macaw’s personality. If she is talking less, and you are providing adequate play, exercise, toys and more, then it is time to go to the vet to ensure everything is okay.
An injured macaw will scream as a result of pain. Any screaming out of the blue should be investigated immediately.
Birds may also scream if they are frightened, so be sure that other pets in the home are not making them fearful. They may also become fearful of animals that they see out of windows, like hawks.
Birds naturally get quieter when the night comes. Most birds need darkness to sleep so they do not need any source of light at night except maybe the moon. In this regard, we recommend reading our following articles:
A bird that has to sleep in a bright room won’t have a good sleep which can result in sickness.
Furthermore, do not respond to the behavior in a negative way. Screaming back is not going to help; rather it is better to develop a phrase that lets your parrot know you are still here.
If negative behaviors still continue despite your best efforts, speak with an avian behavioral specialist.
You and your macaw’s relationship is destined to be a long one, so it is best to get things on the right track so it is a good one.
Are Macaws Louder Than Cockatoos?
Cockatoos are good for intermediate bird keepers, but they are still somewhat complex creatures. Macaws are very loud, but they do not vocalize as often as cockatoos. Cockatoos tend to be a bit more active than macaws, and you will often find them playing, shredding things, or making noise.
Which Parrot is the Loudest?
Ranked in order of loudest to not as loud: Cockatoos, (they screech when they are bored, and this can be painful to the ears) Conures, Macaws, Amazon Parrots, and African Greys.
Why Are Macaws Good Pets?
These birds make great pets but only for experienced bird keepers. They demand lots of time, attention, and live long lives, so bonds do not have to end after a certain number of years. They are extremely smart and bring plenty of joy to their owners with their intelligence, ability to mimic speech, and love of music and sounds.
Do Macaws Make A Lot of Noise?
Macaws do make some noise, and you cannot teach them to stop making noise or “be quiet.” Trying to stop the noises of a parrot will usually make them want to do it more. The best thing to do is to make sure your macaw is properly stimulated and has plenty of toys and interaction, plus exercise outside of his cage. This will help keep the noise down.
Macaws are wonderful and fascinating birds, and they are loud, but only during certain moments.
They are not loud at all times during the day; rather they are noisy when trying to call the flock or because they are not getting adequate stimulation.
Keep your pet entertained with plenty of toys, exercise, and stimulation!