Green Cheek Conure Screaming, Help!

I know they say that green cheek conures are quiet birds. Well, since we first got Chico 3-4 months ago, he won’t shut up! He screeches for hours when I leave the house (my husband tells me.) He cries and is noisy when I’m doing things around the house and he can’t see me. The only I can get him to be quiet is when I’m sitting there right next to his cage (his cage is next to the computer, and I’m on several hours a day.)

He is screaming excessively loud, and it’s out of control. He was so quiet I thought he must have been sick. He never screamed or started screeching at all. But no, all that’s changed and we now have the loudest green cheek conure bird ever! He used to make little squawk noises when he would see me, it was so cute. He chirped and wanted scritches and was the most quiet/cuddly bird ever

Could he be going through puberty? I’ve heard that bird personalities change when they start molting and getting hormonal. According to the breeder at the pet shop, Chico would be about 10 months old by now, and I think that’s when they hit puberty? I live in an apartment, and aside from the noise level bothering me, I’m afraid that my neighbors will hear him and report him! I live in a no pet apartment and my landlord doesn’t know I have birds here. Help!

Edit: Thanks, guys. Chico has finally stopped screaming. It turns out he just wasn’t used to his new home yet. So we got him some shredding toys, started interacting with him more, and crinkled balls of paper for foraging, and he’s loads better now. The screaming stopped, and he’s now a little cuddle bird on my shoulder again! 🙂

27 thoughts on “Green Cheek Conure Screaming, Help!”

  1. Anonymous

    Birds always squawk for a reason. If your green cheek is suddenly making noise, is it possible something has changed in your apartment? You mention you're gone a lot. Have you always been leaving so frequently or is this a new thing like you've gotten a new job?

  2. Jimmy

    I know I noticed my bird was getting loud around the same age. I think it must have something to do with birdy puberty, since they go through their first "adult" change at around that time, and then again around 2 years old. Hopefully it's just a phase and he'll grow out of it.

  3. Anonymous

    @ anonymous to answer your question, no I haven't been gone more than usual! I've always been out for a couple of hours every day doing the grocery shopping, running errands, and picking up my kids from school. I just can't figure it out, he was the sweetest bird and now in addition to making loud noises that are driving us nuts he started biting me today! He's never done that either. 🙁 And Jim I hope you're right and this is just a noisy phase he will grow out of soon I hope!

  4. Anonymous

    I second anonymous's post. Birds don't just scream for no reason. You must be doing something different. Give Chico more attention, perhaps?

  5. Todd L.

    Huh. That's really strange. Usually green cheek conures are one of the quietest members of the conure family. If you've ever owned a sun, a jenday, a wagleri (Wagler's conure) you'll know what I'm talking about. All birds scream. It comes with the territory, I'm afraid. That said, some birds scream more than others. Even though the green cheek is a more "quiet" species they are like humans because they all have their own personality. Some are more vocal than others. You say you just got Chico? It could be that he was just settling in to his new environment, and now he's settled his true personality is coming out. He still shouldn't be screaming all the time though. A bird that is too quiet, or one that is too noisy should be checked out by the vet asap.

  6. Squarix

    I own several green cheeks and when one starts going it's like a chain reaction that they all start up. Lol! Normally mine only start screaming when I'm doing something different or performing some "scary" action like using the vacuum cleaner, washing the dishes (a very scary time in our house!) have the TV on too loud, and you get the picture. They hardly ever scream for attention. Oh, and they love making racket when the sun comes up and when the sun goes down, just like an outside bird would do! That's normal though, since they're just using their instincts to "call the flock" home before bedtime.

  7. Anonymous

    Um, why would you have a bird in an apartment you're not allowed to have pets anyways? If they're noisy that's just how birds are. They're going to scream no matter what. It is extremely unfair and not responsible to you and your green cheek to hide him from the land lord for this long.

    There are so so many birds in the shelter because of the situation you just described. I'm not saying you would get rid of your bird because it is loud or destructive, but some pet owners do. Just tell your land lord, or adopt a quieter pet like a cat.

  8. FIDS

    A vet visit might help, but I think he's just being a normal bird. I've owned several species of toos, amazons, macaw, and conures including some green cheeks. I agree with whoever said some screaming is normal. You can't stop all screaming from happening. A noisy bird is a happy one. I've known one beautiful Moluccan Cockatoo named Peaches who was the quietest bird you'd ever meet. Unfortunately, she was so quiet because her past owners abused her and she had internalized herself. On the surface she looked like a well trained bird, but she actually was really, really depressed.

    You can train your bird not to scream so much. You'll never stop all the screaming. If he screams, don't give him attention right away. You are inadvertently "training" your bird to scream whenever he wants you by rewarding his bad behavior. Wait a few minutes, and then take Chico out of his cage. Reward him with a treat when he behaves and is quiet.

    That's how I trained all my birds including the conures to be quiet on command, and I haven't had any issues since.

  9. Angel Wings

    Aw, it sounds like your bird really loves you and feels neglected by your absence! When you leave the room, your green cheek's flock instincts are kicking in. In the wild a bird would never be alone without his mate, his brothers or sisters, close family members, or whatever bird relatives that are part of his flock. Bird have such loud voices not to annoy their owners, but because in the jungle, where they live, they call out to each other all day long while gathering food to account for the other flock members. If your bird is crying out for you (also known as a contact call) he might be bonded to you. Signs of bonding between green cheek owners include just the behavior you describe, as well as trying to feed you like a mate, preening your hair, or just a general fascination and wanting to be around you. Be happy that your bird likes and trusts you so much that he's contact calling you!

  10. Shelly Hans

    Yeah but angel wings, be careful of over-bonding. This happened with my tiel (also named Chico, crazy!) and now he won't leave me alone. He also screams when I leave the room, but he attacks my husband when he gives me or Chico attention, and practically won't let anyone near me. Just don't make my mistake and overdo paying attention to your bird!

  11. Anonymous

    Thanks everyone, Chico seems to be settling down now. I think it may have just been a phase he was experiencing. I have started to give him a little more attention, and he has responded in a positive way with his behavior problems. I think I'll just keep up our routine of regular attention/scritches, fresh fruit, and lots of toys and treats and see how it goes with chico. Thank you to all who responded!

  12. Anonymous

    my green cheek conure follows me all over the house. when i go out to work or errands to run, she cries after me. sometimes, i have to take her with me when i do errands or even go down to the laundry room. she is very needy and needs someone to pay attention to her all the time. the hardest part of the day i have is when i go to work. i love my bird and i won't trade her for anything in the world. you should take it out with you when you go out. mine sometimes sleeps with us in the bed. the green cheeks are the best birds to have!!

  13. Anonymous

    I have 30yrs avian experience dealing with both wild & domestic species. And i believe everyone on here had some very valid points regarding your birds behavior. I happen to own a Green-Cheek myself and an IRN or Indian Ringneck who are bonded to one another and live in the same cage. However, my fids are still very tame with me. I'm the rare exception to this rule because 9 out of 10 it usually does not happen this way i can assure you. However, Kiwi my GCC rules the roost ironically enough and Keiko my IRN allows it. But since were on the topic of "GCC behavior" i must say that each bird is an individual. So expecting to see the same behavior exhibited by every GCC is not the right way to go about things. Many folks read different books and after there done reading about a "specific" species they might be interested in. They automatically assume, the bird they get will act in the same manner as what was described in the text. This can be very misleading to folks just starting out as new bird owners. One author i highly recommend is Mattie Sue Athan she is a pioneer on captive bird behavior & care. Her approach at least to me is to give the facts on various species but also forewarn of potential negatives about the species. Therefore giving the prospective buyer a thorough approach before purchasing a bird lets say out of impulse. Which honestly, is THE WORST decision to make when getting involved with owning captive birds. I often highly recommend GCC's or there cousins the Maroon-Bellies because of there generally sweet temperaments. They are a nice "upgrade" if you will from owning Budgies or Cockatiels. However, with that upgrade comes more responsibility that people need to be aware of ahead of time. These birds DEMAND interaction from there owners and they are not pretty birds who should sit in there cages for display purposes only. I often tell folks if your interested in doing that stick with soft-bills like Finches & Canaries. GCC's are extremely intelligent little animals and will amaze you at times with that intelligence. As i mentioned above earlier, a lot of folks had some great points on this breed. That is they do require or demand attention from there owners, they do go through a "hormonal period" as do MANY species of birds. But if your prepared to go through and endure that the light at the end of the proverbial tunnel is VERY VERY bright in terms of the bond you will have with your animal. They can be stubborn, loud at times, and aggressive so i would give a definite YES to them requiring a owner with a firm but loving demeanor. I would say that they are far quieter by nature than there "Aratinga cousins" being the Sun, Jenday, & Nanday Conures. These birds are often re-home quite frequently because yet again folks overlooked there vocalizations for there prettiness. Out of the 3 common pet species for us to own; Dogs, Cats, & Birds i would have to say that birds are the most frequently re-homed of the 3. Which to me is unfortunate considering they are the most intelligent of the 3 that is if there understood and worked with properly. But if boundaries are set early and these birds get the attention they deserve and more importantly require. You will most certainly have a VERY close companion indeed over the next 20yrs or so.

  14. Anonymous

    I have a GCC and I am experiencing the same problem. If I go away from his sight, he screams as if he was been spanked. My question is: if I get another GCC in a try to give him a friend/company would this help my GCC to do not feel so lonely when he does not see me?

    Thank you!

  15. Paul McGhee

    I agree with October 21st Anonymous: GCC's require about an hour a day of interaction. Leaving them cooped up is like shutting a 7 year old boy full of sugar in his room all day. Your going to have a tantrum or a real big mess. My very social conure loves to be with us and interact, even if from a distance in her cage. When we eat, she wants to be a part. I give a little treat from the fresh veggies,etc before I sit down because I KNOW the squawking is coming. I preemptively offer her what I know she wants so I am not rewarding her after the fact for screaming. OR, if food is not the issue, some affection could be in order. I grab a hand towel, throw it over my shoulder(still working on getting the pottie training down again) and let her hang out with us while we watch some tv. She'll often spend extra time preening herself(or us for that matter) when in our company and become very relaxed in the end.
    One last comment I didn't see anyone else make. Make sure the bird is in the proper size cage with plenty of toys/climbing branches, etc. Cramped quarters and lack of entertainment is a recipe for some continuous noise. I learned that one the hard way. Seven years ago when she was still very young, I had a smaller cage (that I quickly replaced with a three foot high cage). In those early days she squawked much more frequently. The change was rather dramatic when I upgraded. I transfer her back into the original if I am going to vacuum(into the bathroom-door shut) or while cleaning the big cage. Without fail, if I leave her in the small cage for much more than a couple hours, she gets very grumpy. Keeping the cage elevated in relationship to the room is a plus too. Hope you pick up something that helps.

  16. Paul McGhee

    P.S. We are watching the Spurs game(Go Spurs Go!), she's playing with her new mirror, and the crowd on the tv cheered loudly and sure enough…here comes the squawker! 🙂 A little eye contact and and s bit of noise from me quieted her down. That reminded me: Although my bird can't really speak, she Loves to sing and dance! Put on some music with a clear rhythm/baseline(Stevie Ray Vaughn's Pride & Joy is a great example). I'll vocally "play the baseline" along with the song and bounce my head a little bit….the bird follows along and I am able to adjust her squawking into something more productive and controllable. After a few months of doing that when she squawks, it's easy to get her to dance and sing…err…squawk along to the beat. It also makes one heck of an icebreaker when company comes over! Music is your friend!

  17. Anonymous

    I think you should let chico out more often my bird did the same until I was ready to let him out of his cage after school. I'm sure once he adjusts to that idea he will be happy. Put some toys in his cage to keep him busy while your away.p.s. birds LOVE attention that's why

  18. Anonymous

    Proud owner of a GCC.
    Perhaps Chico needs more attention more things to keep him busy like bell balls!Must say all behaviors mentioned here, my little baby has done them all.Let your little Chico out,mine sits on top of her cage in front of a window with the blinds open pretty much all day long she loves it.She does not like being in her cage really and she will let you know it..she literally will psssst at us including the dog when we walk by her cage if she wants attention!!Yes when I/we leave the room she will try and fly in the direction we left the room, screeching/screaming the whole way, giggles until we pick her up and well, then she gets what she wants and that is to be held and literally man handled so to speak(no offense.She is an amazing acrobat.She loves those cat-toy plastic balls with the bells inside of them she lays on her back while holding the ball with her claws above her while trying to get the bell inside, out…then she gets crazy, she will bat that ball around the cage with her beak like crazy, she's a hoot to watch..These cat toys balls keep her busy for hours.She will also do somersaults while on the bottom of her cage when she usually after her ball frenzy.She's a hoot to watch!!She eventually breaks through the plastic with her beak but she doesn't swallow any of the plastic pieces she bites off because I watched her to make sure she didn't.She could careless.
    More socializing and busy toys for chico..xD!See what he likes and doesnt to keep him busy when unattended!!..Trial and error!Hot peppers, raisins!Keep trying!xD!Goodluck!

  19. Anonymous

    That shouldn't matter? It's her choice. And it's not irresponsible, either. The bird is safe and happy, and that's all that matters. She could get kicked out or forced to give up the bird if they find him.

    What difference would it make anyways to tell him? I doubt she takes it for walks around the hallways. It's not unfair to anybody.

  20. Anonymous

    I am speaking as a person who loves animals (I have four dogs, four Budgies, a sheep, I and am considering a Green Cheek Parrot). But, if she lives in an apartment that has a no pet policy, she should not have a bird or any other pet. Also, if the bird is being cared for properly it should be out of the cage a lot; and birds can, and do, damage things–which may include: baseboards, door frames, window sills, counter tops… And, other tenants, who may really want a pet, but abide by the rules, should not have to listen to loud noises coming from the pet of someone who is breaking the rules. It is not her choice to violate the rules. And, it is unfair–to the landlord AND to everyone who obeys the rules!

  21. Anonymous

    It absolutely IS her choice to break the rules of her lease agreement. I'm sure she put up a security deposit to offset some of the damage and the landlord is capable of filing lawsuits if the remainder is not paid for. So damage is a lame attempt to look down upon someone, as was the listing of your number and type of animal.
    As stated earlier, if the bird is healthy and happy there is no judgement needed during a question unrelated to leasing issues.

  22. Anonymous

    how can i get my gcc to stop her constantly crying. she wants so much attention and i give plenty to her but sometimes its so bad i don't know what to do about it. i am on vacation now but i am supposed to return on sept 9th. we went away and my parents watched her and now that i am home she is acting out a lot more. how to control her behavior before it gets worse. she is acting up even right now in front of me. help!

  23. Anonymous

    I have a green cheek – right around 3yrs old. He is doing the exact same thing. No changes to his diet or daily routine. He is literally screaming in different tones, sounds, etc and will do this for hours. And though he rarely does it to me he will bite my wife even if he is getting attention. The only time he seems to be happy is when he's in physical contact (sitting on my shoulder, arm, hand, etc) with me so i feel your frustration. bryan atlanta, ga

  24. Anonymous

    I hate it when people judgekeep of self righteousness! Have you people some how contacted this woman( who asked for help not judgment) or her "land lord" and gone over her lease agreement?
    Some ppl SUCK and should keep it to themselves and the unfortunate family members!

  25. Anonymous

    Getting a second bird has its ups and downs. The biggest downside is that they can bond with each other, and see no need for you! HOWEVER, if you're just getting a second bird because the first one is lonely… you should not even have one. My GCC screams if I leave the room sometimes, so when she screams, I simply do not return until she is quiet. ..She gets the hint. If you are going to be gone for a lot of hours that day, leave on the radio or the tv and your conure will feel better. But if she's just screaming when you leave the room, it is a conure thing, but it can be curbed with patience.

  26. Anonymous

    Yeah this is ridiculous. GCC live for a long time.. 25 years, in that time many people would have at least moved once. You don't even know her circumstances and you are judging her.

  27. Anonymous

    "No pet" apartments often only apply to cats and dogs, or other nongaged or non-tanked animals. as long as the tank or cage and animal inside is not excessively large or noisy, usually it's fine. example: fish are almost always an exception to no pet rules. birds are often as well because they don't carry hair and what not that can cause allergies to flare up for months even after the animal is gone.

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