Neighbors Complain About Bird Noise? Some Tips!

Neighbors Complain About Bird Noise? Some Tips!

 September 26th, 2010
Posted By:

Camelot Macaw, Blue Throated Macaw

About six years ago, I suffered the loss of my dear, wonderful cockatoo, Abu.  I was reeling for months following her unexpected death. I had considered getting another bird, but was still in that place where it hurt too much to think about it and it seemed somehow disrespectful to her memory to “replace” her so quickly.
During that period of time, my daughter and Jamie knew each other from online.  It turns out Jamie and Dave were looking for a good home for their umbrella cockatoo, and my daughter convinced them that I could provide such a home. From my end, I readied myself to take the plunge again. It was beginning to feel too quiet around the house with just the cockatiels and myself.  Enter Linus.

Umbrella Cockatoo

When Linus came to Austin to be my new roommate, I was living in a small apartment. Having had experience with cockatoos, and living with one for so long, I knew they were not good apartment birds. I was not expecting, however, that Linus would scream from morning until night for the next four months. It was not a fun time and I was longing for that too quiet house again. I can say now that Linus has turned into such an affectionate and cherished companion that it was all worth every effort, but it wasn’t easy.
I thought I would share some tips with you about how to ready yourself and the neighbors for the arrival of a potentially loud bird. No matter what species you bring home, and regardless of their level of difficulty in handling this new experience, birds make noise. Period. It’s best that everyone be prepared.
Before Linus came to Austin, I began preparing my neighbors. I spoke to everyone in the immediate area, especially those with walls connecting to my apartment. I let them know that there would be an excess of noise coming from my place for a while and implored them to be understanding. I explained how emotional and sensitive parrots were and that they needed extra care and consideration in these circumstances.  Everyone seemed to be on board.

Rose Breasted Cockatoos and African Grey

The night that Linus arrived, I took him around to meet the neighbors so they could put a cute face to the new sounds coming from my apartment. He couldn’t have been more charming and he made several new friends on his first night here. It’s a good thing I did this that very night because as of the next day it was months before Linus was handleable again. He was crazy angry about his new living arrangements – and loud.  Very loud.  And angry.  Did I say that already?
As much as Linus had endeared himself to the neighbors, I knew patience was going to run out. So I rushed to cover those bases by purchasing gift cards to the local cinemas and giving them to my neighbors as a form of bribery. I wrote a note of thanks to each of them and explained that this transition was proving to be more difficult for Linus than was anticipated. I gave them the option of seeing a movie or two on me if things got too loud.  Also, it’s hard for someone to complain once they have accepted a gift in exchange for their silence. Sneaky? Yes. Effective? Very.

Umbrella Cockatoo

After I was successful with this approach, I posted it on a number of bird boards and It was used often by readers there facing similar dilemmas.  Gratefully, every new bird you bring home isn’t going to terrorize you in the same special way Linus did me. But some birds, even the smaller ones, seem to have penetrating or shrill calls that can be annoying not only to your neighbors, but to those in your own household. Conures seem to have this knack.
There are a few things you can use to dampen the bird sounds in your home:
Fabric:  Drapery, curtains or wall tapestries can cut down on a huge amount of noise that travels inside the house or through the walls.
Carpet:  This works in the same way as fabric. Noises that would normally bounce from wall to wall, or floor to ceiling, can be disrupted and absorbed by carpet.
Furniture: The emptier a room, the noisier it is. Filling a room up with stuff will dampen sound.
Plants: I don’t have an explanation for why these work well. But they do.  I guess they qualify as stuff.
Professional soundproofing:  This may be going too far in some households, but it is an option, albeit an expensive one.

Camelot Macaws

In the wrong circumstances, an angry neighbor can cause of you to have to part with your beloved bird.  There are laws governing how much noise can emanate from your house and yard.  Know and understand the species of bird you are planning to bring into your home (and neighborhood), and prepare ahead of time.

Facebook comments:

Add New Comment

7 Comments on “Neighbors Complain About Bird Noise? Some Tips!”

Sue  09/27/2010 11:11 am

I know first hand just how noisy birds can be as ive aquired an 8 year old conure (someone must have chucked him out because of the noise) then i got quite by accident (as i had found a new home in scotland for him, but that is another story) an addorable african grey who is the apple of my eye now, but somehow I also ended up with an umbrella cockatoo that the owners loved but just couldnt stand the constant screaming (am i mad or what) anyway to cut a long story short yes they are noisy but not all the time and they give me so much pleasure and love that i can forgive my mild deafness and a floor constantly covered with debris on a daily basis and the companionship is second to none.
Regards, a slightly mad partially deaf bird lover.

Gaye  09/27/2010 10:06 pm

Excellent article, g/f ;-D!!!

George  09/28/2010 5:16 am

Soundproofing solves most noise-related issues. I had similar problems with my neighbors and I don’t want to affect relations with them because of that. After months of struggling, I finally got my walls soundproofed with this product called Quietrock and I’m very happy with the results. Use QuietRock and soundproof your home, and you’ll be sorted!

Fishlova82  09/28/2010 9:26 am

Excellent bribery advice!!! I understand how neighbours feel about noise level as I have noisy ones BUT life isn’t a neat little package – it comes in all shapes, sizes and volumes. I can stand my neighbours noise so it’s no problem but everyone has their limit and it applies here too. So… extending that limit with …. bribery…. is a stroke of brilliance! Thank you 🙂

sam  09/28/2010 5:28 pm

hahah funny

Tony  09/29/2010 3:33 pm

It’s funny, my conure is loud at times but with no neighbor problems. He blends in with the other birds here in Florida! I can here him from the street but no louder than the wild parrots etc. even in an apartment.

Location, location, location.

Glenda  12/10/2017 1:51 am

I am having that issue right now since there is a new neighbor complaining that my macaw makes a lot of noise which is not true she makes noise once in a while but jus one or two times at day, unfortunately this new neighbor is saying that my macaw makes noise at nite time, and that is total lie, the apartment manager is just waiting to heard my macaw so he can give me a 3 days notice to remove my macaw, what can I do? I had talked to the apartment manager but he doesn’t care of what I say. He even admitted that he had heard my macaw one or two times in a day.
Please advise me what to do.