Parakeets (also called budgies) are a tiny parrot species that are beloved for their cute size and intelligence. They can talk, learn tricks, and play with their owners. Parakeets are especially social creatures, with flocks ranging up to hundreds of birds. They spend ample time chattering with each other or their favorite humans. However, this has earned them a reputation as loud birds.
Parakeets are very noisy and will chatter for most of the day. Their favorite sounds are to chirp, whistle, warble, and trill, especially when they’re happy. You may find them comparable to a delightful songbird, but a loud cry will reach up to 111 decibels. Parakeets are loudest in the morning and quieter at night. If you’re an early riser, you can enjoy your parakeet’s morning routine of singing, greeting its cage-mates, and warming up its voice.
At night, parakeets will grind their beaks and make gentle sounds as they relax. They should be quiet throughout the night, as long as they’re not disturbed by light or sound. If you find your parakeet is too loud, you can train it to calm down at certain times. Excessive vocalizations will be reduced if you move its cage, interrupt its screaming in non-harmful ways, and socialize it properly. Parakeets are only silent if they’re ill or depressed, so the whistling and chirping is actually a positive sign.
Are Parakeets Noisy Birds?
Parakeets are lovable but noisy parrots. If you get them in pairs, they will chatter semi-constantly with each other. If kept as a single parrot, parakeets remain loud and talkative. They are known to chirp and whistle at:
- Their owners
- Other pets
- Their own reflection
- Toys and perches
- Even to no one at all
A bored parakeet will be very noisy as a way to entertain itself. If the parakeet has closely bonded with you, it may also sing whenever you walk into its room. This is because parakeets gather in huge flocks in the wild. They communicate in a highly social environment, with up to 200 parrots in one group. Pet parakeets are no stranger to noise, and in fact, a silent parakeet is a big red flag for illness.
Many people find these vocalizations charming, and often keep these birds in their homes as songbirds. Of course, their whistling and singing may lead you to believe that parakeets are actual songbirds. However, they lack the vocal organs necessary to claim this title. Instead, they specialize in mimicking other sounds and words they have heard.
How Loud Do Parakeets Get?
Despite their small size, parakeets are impressively loud. If you haven’t experienced the maximum volume these birds can reach firsthand, you’re in for a surprise.
The rose-ringed parakeet’s loudest vocalizations can reach a whopping 111 decibels. That’s just under the volume of a baby crying at (130 decibels), or the sound of an airplane engine (at 140 decibels).
This loudness can also feel more extreme due to the high-pitched tone of a parakeet’s scream. For example, owners are discouraged from owning parakeets if they have sensitive hearing or suffer from conditions such as hyperacusis. Your parakeet’s loudest vocalizations may be too painful for you to be around.
With that said, the normal chattering is typically at a lower volume. It can sound as pleasant as a babbling brook for some people.
Sounds That Parakeets Make
Parakeets are capable of making a wide variety of sounds when socializing or expressing their mood. Let’s explore their various vocalizations and what they mean.
Chattering is the most common parakeet noise you will hear. These vocalizations are often interspersed with chirps and clicks. That’s especially true when the bird is attempting to communicate its feelings.
Most chattering behavior indicates that your bird is feeling content. It should not be a reason for concern, unless the parakeet is being excessively loud.
Parakeet singing can be a delightful sound. These high-pitched vocalizations are not usually shrill. In fact, they’re compatible with the warbled sounds of forwarding a cassette tape in a tape deck.
If your parakeet is frequently singing, it’s indicating that it’s happy. In fact, if you own a pair or a group of parakeets, they may even start singing together.
Many new bird lovers assume chirping, chattering, and singing are all the same thing. In some respects, they definitely sound similar. However, chirping can be thought of as the individual words that make up your parakeet’s song. Meanwhile, chattering is the “sentences.”
Clicks are a more distinct vocalization. These short bursts of sound may catch you off guard and lead you to believe that your parakeets are in distress. However, clicking is a natural behavior that isn’t considered out of the ordinary.
Parakeets make clicking noises using their beaks or their tongues. Many owners report that their parakeets engage in tongue clicking far more than beak clicking. It’s a way to keep themselves entertained, and it’s no different than you tapping your nails on a table.
Trills are special sounds that resemble longer and more drawn-out chirps. You may hear your parakeet’s voice shift in pitch as it decorates its trills with different syllables.
These trilling sounds are one of the first vocalizations baby parakeets are able to produce before learning how to sing. Trills are also considered natural sounds and do not indicate distress or danger.
Parakeets make special sounds to indicate danger. These danger calls are unique screeches that are often louder and more shrill in character than their other vocalizations.
If you hear your parakeet making such sounds, it may be trying to indicate a threat in its immediate surroundings. It can also mean the bird is seriously injured. However, you may also hear screeching noises from your pet every time it spots a cat or a wild bird through your window.
Parakeets make contact calls less frequently than other sounds. However, they are arguably the most important. These vocalizations resemble a long-drawn call, similar to the sound of human whistling. Such sounds grab your attention immediately, which is actually your parakeet’s intention.
Contact calls are used to call out to other flock-mates. When adapted to the home, parakeets use these sounds to alert their owners. A contact call does not necessarily indicate joy or distress. It’s just a way for your bird to indicate that it wants to know:
- Where you are
- If you’re okay
- If you’re coming back
If the parakeet doesn’t get a reply, it may then grow stressed. Try to call back to the parakeet or get into its line of sight for a moment, so it doesn’t keep calling (louder and louder every time).
Warbling resembles very soft chattering noises. These sounds indicate your parakeet is feeling happy and/or at ease. It’s not uncommon for parakeets to make warbling sounds when they are grooming themselves or other parakeets. Some owners have also reported their parakeets making warbling sounds when they are about to fall asleep.
According to The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, parakeet warbling noises are sonically distinct from contact calls.
African Grey parrots are best known for their ability to mimic the sound of human words. However, parakeets can do the same, to a certain extent. You may spot your pet attempting to repeat syllables that sound like certain words. Some parakeets are actually capable of reciting complete words with the same cadence and tone as humans.
Your parakeet doesn’t know the meaning of the words it is saying. However, it’s believed that parrots mimic words as a way of “fitting in” with the rest of the flock. In this case, they’re mimicking ‘human’ chattering and chirping, so that we’ll better accept them into our family. Considering that most parrots are sought-after as pets because of their ability to mimic, one could say the plan is working.
If your parakeet has added some words to its vocabulary recently, you should be flattered. It’s adapting a social skill that was gained through millions of years of evolution – just to impress you.
Beak Grinding Noises
Parakeets also create sounds by grinding their beaks. This can resemble the sound of hard plastic being scraped, and it could scare some owners. However, break grinding is completely normal and is non-harmful behavior.
This grinding isn’t part of beak maintenance, and is usually a sign of contentment. Parakeets often engage in this practice just before falling asleep.
Can Parakeets Talk?
Parakeets are capable of reproducing human-like sounds. Most will not gain a full ability to talk, like larger parrots with bigger brains, and will only get close approximations to some words. Others may prefer to learn familiar sounds instead, like your alarm clock.
Even still, there are numerous reports from owners saying that their parakeet can recite tens, if not hundreds of human words with clarity. Such vocalizations often resemble the sound of television commercials or radio chatter. That can make listening to your parakeet talk a very entertaining experience.
You can actually train your parakeet to talk by teaching them one word at a time. These birds excel at pronouncing consonants such as:
So, you should try words that are less vowel-heavy. Some owners like repeating certain words or phrases around their parakeets. The parrots are then rewarded with small treats when they repeat the sounds.
This process can take some time, so you should be patient during speaking lessons. Owners should be careful too. You may find it difficult to get your parakeet to stop talking once it gets into the habit of saying words.
Squawking at Night Vs. Morning
You may notice your parakeet squawking during different times of the day. Many owners report their pets making such sounds early in the morning when they are ready to get up. This usually corresponds to the moment sunlight hits the parakeet’s cage. It can be delayed or stopped by placing a cover over the cage.
Your parakeet should not normally squawk at night. These birds make softer warbling sounds when they are about to fall asleep. A parakeet squawking at night may indicate distress from lights and sounds in the environment. You may need to move them to a darker and more peaceful setting
Are Parakeets Loud in the Morning?
In addition to squawking from the moment it sees daylight, your parakeet may continue making these sounds throughout the morning. This can be seen as a morning routine, in which the parakeet greets others and warms-up its voice.
Are Parakeets Loud at Night?
A happy and content parakeet should not be making loud sounds at night. If your pet is uttering noises after dark, it may be having trouble sleeping or is expressing distress.
Sounds Due to Sleep Problems
Like many other parrot breeds, parakeets require a solid 10 to 12 hours of rest per night. However, their sleep may be disturbed or they may have difficulty falling asleep. In these cases, they may start making loud noises to express their feelings. You should ensure your parakeet has a quiet and comfortable sleep environment to reside in after sunset.
Sounds Due to Light Stimulation
Parrots in the wild are susceptible to changes in their environment. Any lighting, whether natural or artificial, can affect their hormone levels, which can make them even more exuberant.
According to Hormones and Behavior, parakeet hormone levels vary significantly throughout the year. They peak during the springtime. This hormonal peak may be attributed to the longer daylight hours in this season.
It is believed that exposure to artificial lighting at night can also alter your parakeet’s hormone levels. That can make it more hyper and vocal. You may be able to get around this problem by:
- Placing a cover over your bird cage
- Moving your parakeet to a dark room after sunset
Why Are My Parakeets So Loud?
Parakeets are loud simply because they need to be. These birds often exist in large flocks and may need to be louder than adjacent birds to get the attention of others. These parrots are also well-equipped with the vocal organs and lungs to produce loud sounds. If your parakeet is being excessively loud all the time, it could indicate other problems.
A parakeet that feels it isn’t receiving enough attention from its owner may signal with a loud contact call. Your pet should cease this behavior once you go over to it or call back. Similarly, it may emit a contact call if its food and/or water bowls are empty.
If your parakeet is stressed out, it may produce louder sounds than normal. This will be caused by factors such as:
- Lights and sounds in the surrounding environment
- An unsuitable cage-mate
- A poor diet
Your pet should quiet down once you address the source of its stress.
Parakeets Squawking at Each Other
Parakeets are social and thrive well in groups. Even in the wild, though, these playful birds get along by teasing, antagonizing, and playing with each other. A favorite pastime is stealing toys and food, only to get a reaction out of a cage-mate.
Because of this, you may find your two parakeets squawking at each other. This is usually a benign play-fight that only requires a small amount of monitoring. If you’ve just added a new parakeet to the mix, though, and the fights get heavy, this can be a bad sign.
Squawking at a Cage-Mate
A parakeet that is not getting along with its cage-mate will often squawk to;
- Express its distress
- Shoo its opponent to the other side of the cage
The parakeets may also squawk if they were injured by a cage-mate and want to keep their distance.
Playing vs. Fighting
It’s tricky for some owners to distinguish when their parakeets are playing or fighting. Parakeets that are getting along will preen each other’s faces and beaks to express their affection. This behavior is natural and should not be a reason for concern.
If you notice your parakeets nipping at each other while also making loud squawking noises, that indicates that they are fighting. Owners should separate the parrots if the fight gets heavy-handed or goes on for more than 1-2 minutes.
How To Quiet Noisy Parakeets
Sometimes your parakeet is just far too loud. Maybe you’re trying to put a baby to sleep, or you just want some peace and quiet yourself. Luckily, there are ways to help your parakeet settle down.
Shifting Their Cage Elsewhere
A parakeet that is dissatisfied with its current surroundings may be vocal about it. In this scenario, you should ideally move its cage to a different room. Preferably, this will be a quieter one, where the parakeet won’t be disturbed.
Conversely, a parakeet that is being loud because of a lack of attention can be moved to a room that is used frequently. This may be your kitchen or living room. This allows the parakeet to spend more time with you when you are going about your usual activities.
Play Calming Music
Many owners report that their parakeets quiet down when they hear calming music. This could be slow and pleasant classical music, or ambient nature sounds. Studies are still exploring the effect that music has on parrots, but as of now, it’s believed that parakeets find it calming. The background music offers a change of setting that doesn’t require you to move your parakeet’s cage.
Give a Time-Out
If you can’t discern why your parakeet is acting unusually loud, you may need to discipline it with a time-out. This involves moving the parakeet to a separate cage with food and water until it calms down and becomes quieter. If you have multiple parakeets, you should keep them separate during their time-out sessions.
Interrupting The Behavior
Some owners find they can quiet their parakeet’s excessive screaming by interrupting it. You can do this by spritzing the parrot with water from a spray bottle. However, your parakeet may not take too kindly to this act. It should only be used as a last resort, rather than your go-to solution.
If your parakeet is uncomfortable being around others, it may respond by screeching. You can solve this problem by helping the parrot socialize. This involves:
- Taking your parakeet out to meet new people while they are still young. Parakeets trust their owners, but they are often wary of strangers and other humans they are unfamiliar with.
- Help your parakeet bond with calm, quiet individuals through a series of meetings. These meetings should be kept short at first, to give your parakeet time to get acquainted with others. You can gradually make these meetings longer as your parrot becomes more comfortable.
- Take your parakeet to the pet store to see other birds. However, you should ensure your local pet store isn’t overcrowded with animals, or the experience may become too overwhelming for your pet.
At least one of the aforementioned solutions should help quiet down your parakeet. Remember to always be patient with your parrot. It may not intend to disturb you with its frequent vocalizations.
What If My Parakeet Is Too Quiet?
If your parakeet has suddenly become extremely quiet, that’s a bad sign. Parrots should not go entirely silent, nor should they stop producing sounds as regularly as they used to. This usually means that the parakeet is ill.
Birds in general are very good at hiding when they are ill. By going silent, this could be a way for them to continue looking formidable in front of their cage-mates or predators.
Should You Give Away a Noisy Parakeet?
If you are concerned with the amount of noise a parakeet makes, it’s best to avoid getting one in the first place. These parrots have a natural tendency to be noisy, so you may prefer a quieter pet, such as a fish or a reptile. Even if you enjoy looking at and playing with parakeets, you could find that owning one is a more challenging experience.
If you already own a parakeet and are fed up with the amount of noise it’s making, you should avoid giving them away. This is because parakeets form a deep bond with their owners. Giving them away may cause depression.
A workable solution for noisy parakeets is to keep them in a separate room, where their noise will be tolerated. This could be useful for new owners who do not want to expose their newborn to the loud sounds that a parakeet makes.