7 Tips for Keeping a Scared Parrot Calm During Fireworks

Scared Parrot During Fireworks

This time of the year is a lot of fun for us humans, but our parrots don’t always have an easy time with it! Fireworks can present a challenge for pet owners, with them desperately trying to calm and soothe their scared parrots as lights thunder in the sky.

Not all birds are fazed by fireworks displays, but some are. If you know you’re going to be dealing with a scared parrot during the upcoming festivities, keep reading. We’ll share some of our tried and tested top tips to keep our feathered friends calm and comfy.

1. Find your scared parrot a comfortable place

To ensure the comfort and safety of your scared parrot, especially during times of loud events like fireworks, it’s essential to find a suitable and cosy place for them in your home. Ideally, this should be a quiet spot, away from the hustle and bustle of household activity and distant from windows to minimize exposure to noise and disturbances. Consider partially covering the cage with a sheet to enhance this safe haven. This mimics treetops’ natural protection and calmness, providing a familiar and comforting environment for your parrot.

Adjusting the lighting in the room can also be beneficial. You might want to close the curtains or blinds to shield your parrot from the bright, flashing lights of the fireworks. However, remember that some birds are more at ease when seeing their surroundings. If this is the case with your parrot, leave the blinds slightly open to satisfy their curiosity and comfort level.

Very important for maintaining the health and well-being of your parrot is to ensure good air quality, especially during fireworks displays. Firework smoke and the smell of sulphur can harm your bird’s sensitive respiratory system. Therefore, it’s crucial to keep all windows closed during these events to prevent any harmful smoke or fumes from entering their environment.

2. Distract your parrot with toys

Parrots typically enjoy engaging with various toys, and introducing new, shiny ones before the loud noises start can help divert their attention. These new toys can provide an exciting distraction, allowing them to focus on playful activities rather than the unsettling sounds outside.

In addition to new toys, bringing out some of their old favourites can be comforting. Familiar toys have a soothing effect, offering a sense of normalcy and security amidst the chaos. The blend of new and old toys creates a balance between excitement and comfort, keeping your parrot entertained and at ease.

For those looking to further enrich their parrot’s environment, consider introducing a foraging box. This box, filled with an assortment of small items and hidden high-value treats, can be an excellent way to stimulate your parrot’s natural foraging instincts. While some parrots might not engage in foraging when stressed, those who do will find it a rewarding and absorbing activity.

Keeping a scared parrot calm during fireworks

3. Offer some treats

Some parrots may not be interested in playing if they’re stressed due to the fireworks outside. But very few birds will be able to resist the allure of some high-value treats! Why not offer something that will keep yours busy for a while? A big millet spray for small birds, or a corn cob for larger parrots, may be enough to redirect their attention to the food rather than the scary flashes and explosions.

Of course, you can also combine treats and toys. This may not be the moment to introduce an elaborate foraging toy, but a simple foraging opportunity like the famous pineapple toy by Planet Pleasures could be perfect to distract a scared parrot.

Tidymix Mixed Fruit Parrot Treat - 500g - Human Grade

4. Drown out the noise

To alleviate the stress of a scared parrot during noisy events like fireworks displays, it’s effective to mask the frightening sounds with familiar and comforting noises. Parrots, although not generally scared of all sounds, can become anxious due to the unexpected loudness of fireworks. The solution lies in surrounding your scared parrot with familiar sounds they enjoy, which can significantly reduce their anxiety.

Playing your parrot’s favorite music or increasing the TV volume can offer a comforting sound. If your bird enjoys unique noises, like a vacuum cleaner’s hum, include them too. These familiar sounds create a normal, safe feeling for your scared parrot. They help distract and soothe them during the startling noises of fireworks. This approach ensures that your parrot feels secure and less troubled during these potentially stressful times.

5. Brew some soothing birdie tea

Herbal teas can be an excellent way to soothe a scared parrot during stressful times. Just as these teas have calming effects on humans, they can also provide similar benefits to parrots. Brew a cup of chamomile, lavender, or peppermint tea for you and your parrot. This shared experience creates a calming atmosphere. It also strengthens your bond. These specific herbs are known for their relaxing properties and can offer a sense of tranquillity to your parrot.

Tips to Keep A Scared Parrot Calm During Fireworks - 5: Warm Birdie Tea

It’s essential to give your parrot caffeine-free tea, as regular caffeinated tea can harm them. Serve the tea lukewarm or cold to prevent burns. If your parrot likes the tea, try giving them the actual herbs, such as chamomile or lavender. They can play with and eat these herbs. This offers a new, fun activity for your parrot. It also gives them a safe, natural way to relax during loud celebrations outside. There are loads of parrot-safe herbs, after all!

6. Desensitize beforehand

Preparing your parrot for loud sounds can significantly reduce anxiety during events. Desensitization means slowly introducing your parrot to fireworks sounds. Start with low-volume recordings on your phone or device. Watch your bird’s reaction closely during this process. Rewarding and praising calm behaviour is essential to reinforce that these sounds are normal and not a threat.

As your parrot gets used to the noise, gradually turn up the volume. This better simulates real fireworks. You can also show fireworks videos on TV. This adds the visual element of flashing lights, helping your parrot adjust to the entire experience.

However, it’s crucial to proceed cautiously and not overwhelm your parrot. The goal is to build their tolerance gradually, without causing additional stress. Watch your parrot’s reactions closely as you expose them to fireworks sounds. Adjust the intensity based on their response. This careful monitoring is essential for effective desensitization. It helps in keeping your scared parrot calm during loud and startling events like fireworks.

7. Keep calm

Your emotional state greatly affects your parrot, particularly in stressful situations like fireworks. Parrots, being social and intuitive, easily pick up and reflect the emotions of their human companions. Displaying anxiety or stress can, therefore, make your parrot feel similarly anxious.

Therefore, it’s crucial to maintain a calm and relaxed demeanour. Avoid overcompensating with a soothing voice or tense behaviour, as these can inadvertently signal to your parrot that there’s something to be worried about. Instead, approach the situation positively, treating the fireworks night as a celebratory event for your bird.

Transform the evening into a ‘birdie party’ to distract and delight your parrot. Offer a variety of foods to your parrot. Engage in playful activities together. Consider staying up late. Add in some dancing and other fun activities your parrot loves. Creating this enjoyable atmosphere does two things. It distracts your parrot from outside noises. It also helps build positive associations with noisy events. This method is great for keeping your scared parrot calm and joyful during fireworks or similar loud celebrations.

Conclusion

helping your scared parrot navigate the noise and chaos of fireworks requires a blend of thoughtful preparation and empathetic care. By combining these approaches, you can effectively minimize your parrot’s stress and transform potentially unsettling experiences into opportunities for bonding and reassurance. Remember, your parrot’s well-being hinges not just on the physical environment but also on the emotional support and stability you provide during these challenging times. If you do find your bird to be really distressed by the displays, get in touch with the RSPA for more advice.

For more tips on parrot care, visit our Avian Care Section: https://blog.parrotessentials.co.uk/category/parrot-care-articles/

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This Post Has 10 Comments

  1. Oddly enough, my parrot and I watch fireworks together. It started 5 years ago (she’s 5) I kept telling her it was fireworks when she heard a loud noise – she would go all tall and thin in surprise. Then, I asked her if she wanted to see them, she made her little approval noise, so, I opened the curtains and invited her to join me. She joined me at the window and we watched the pretty colours in the sky. She didn’t have to stay, she could fly off at any time. We both jumped a bit when there was a loud pop or bang that took us by surprise but she stayed to watch. I think they take their cue from you, if you are calm they are calm. It’s not something I would recommend but it suits us.

    1. Hi Jane,

      We have 5 parrots and they are not scared of the fireworks at all. I think the fact that your little one can fly away if she wanted to helped her get over the light and noise.
      Every bird is different and some will be absolutely petrified of fireworks, no matter what, others will not even blink during fireworks.
      The main thing is for us to do whatever the bird is comfortable with.
      Thank you for the comment.

      Anguel

    1. Hi Sue, thank you for the comment.
      Glad to hear your little friend is not scared of fireworks.
      Sadly this is not always the case.
      Some birds are scared of fireworks, others are not. The same goes for cats, dogs and even children.

  2. Thank you this is our first firework night with our parrot so we will see what he thinks.
    And we are prepared with your tips if he doesn’t like them.

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