You’ll feel concerned when your parrot stops talking or refuses to speak. However, it’s unlikely that the parrot has permanently lost its voice. Usually, following adjustments, the parrot will be able to talk again.
A parrot that has stopped talking is likely afraid, unwell, depressed, or adjusting to change. Abnormal silence or strained noises signify that something is affecting its lungs, throat, or syrinx. Aspergillosis and bronchitis can make vocalization uncomfortable or no longer possible.
Parrots are usually noisy birds; something is amiss if your parrot won’t talk, chirp, scream, sing, or make other sounds. So, it’s important to determine why your parrot is no longer talking.
Parrot Not Talking Anymore
Parrots that suddenly stop making noise are usually unhappy or unsettled, but it can be due to sickness. If your parrot’s unwillingness to talk is due to a mental or psychological factor, the following are beneficial:
- Talking and interacting with the parrot.
- Is your parrot bored? Provide more toys and enrichment.
- A larger cage and more freedom to move, including out-of-cage time.
- Make the parrot feel safe. For example, keeping cats out of the room.
- Natural sunlight
Here are some possible reasons why parrots stop talking:
Parrots need time to adjust to a new home or changes in their environment. For example, small changes like moving the cage to a different corner can lead to a silent period.
A vocal parrot can become quiet when introduced to a new environment. The same applies if you bring a new pet or person into your home, as it’s doing its best to come to terms with change.
Even small, seemingly insignificant changes can unsettle a parrot, leading to days of near-silence.
Parrots are prey animals, and their instinct is to freeze or flee when afraid.
Captive parrots don’t have the option to fly away, so they may stand still and become silent until the danger has passed.
Not everything that bothers parrots poses a danger to their lives. So, your parrot may stop talking when bothered by the following:
- A loud TV or music.
- The neighbor’s cat is coming near the window.
- Construction work outside.
- A sudden flash of light from a passing car.
- A loud bang, such as dropping a pan.
- An argument that your parrot hears through the walls.
A decrease or ceasing of vocalizations is a dramatic change in behavior for many parrots. So, it indicates they’re feeling unwell, as parrots stop talking when under the weather.
They must devote more energy to healing and won’t be inclined to communicate when weak. Parrots also stay quiet when weak or injured to avoid attracting the attention of predatory animals.
If your parrot won’t or is unable to repeat phrases or whistle a tune, check for these symptoms:
- Discharge from the eyes, nose, or mouth
- Abnormal feces
- Tail bobbing
- Labored or wheezy breathing
- Loss of appetite
- Ruffled or missing feathers
Parrots may not show symptoms until the illness has progressed.
A depressed parrot is likely to stop talking, especially if ignored.
Parrots thrive when given attention and enrichment. If your parrot lacks one or both, it’ll become bored, sad, or depressed. If you rarely interact with your parrot, it may stop talking.
Parrots grieve, so losing a family member could trigger grief and sadness, especially if closely bonded.
If you’ve adopted a parrot, it may be depressed because its previous family gave it away. Perhaps its previous family mistreated it or failed to provide adequate care.
Parrot Is Not Making Any Sound
Certain diseases and fungi can lead to silence because they infect the:
The most common health issues that stop parrots from talking include the following:
Aspergillosis is a common respiratory disease that affects parrots.
It’s a fungal infection caused by aspergillus spores infecting the throat and restricting airflow. Most commonly, this happens in parrots exposed to mold, even kinds that humans deem benign.
The infection will grow if left unchecked until the parrot struggles to vocalize or breathe, resulting in death via suffocation.
The signs of an aspergillosis infection include:
- Raspy breathing
- Labored breathing
- High-pitched whistling when breathing
A parrot may have a blockage in its airway due to fluids generated by illness or an inhaled object.
Parrots have powerful breaks that can break plastics and wooden objects, so your bird may have swallowed a piece of a toy or shelled a nut.
Sadly, a parrot may also cease talking in the time leading up to its death. It’ll feel tired, preoccupied, and maybe even sense that the end is near.
A much-loved parrot that has lived a good life may continue to talk, even if its voice lacks its previous strength. Others may appear to rest and show no interest in talking.
Parrot Lost Its Voice
In rare cases, a parrot will lose its voice permanently due to scarring in its throat, lungs, or syrinx. This could be due to the following:
- Foreign bodies
These factors can harm the muscles and tissues that make up the vocal system. However, it’s more likely that the parrot will develop a ‘hoarser’ tone than lose its voice entirely.
Do Parrots Have Vocal Cords?
In humans, the vocal region comprises vocal cords positioned on either side of the larynx. Each of the vocal cords is located at the top of your throat.
We push air from our lungs through the vocal cords to produce sound, which controls the vibrations to create the desired sound. We also use our teeth, tongue, and lips to shape sounds.
Parrots don’t have vocal cords; they have a syrinx. This organ sits at the lower end of the parrot’s throat and is composed of two parts on either side of the bronchi of each lung.
Parrots can independently change each syrinx’s shape and its moveable valve to produce sound. Air is pushed through the syrinx, and the vibrations of the muscles and valves make the right noise.
According to the Journal of Zoology, there’s much that scientists have yet to learn about the syrinx.
Syrinx structures vary across species and families, even within the parrot family. For example, cockatiels can’t produce the same range of sounds as African greys.
How Do Parrots Talk Without Vocal Cords?
Parrots can talk without vocal cords because they can alter the depth and shape of the syrinx. Since parrots can control their muscles with such precision, they can make a wide range of sounds.
They can manipulate each branch independently of the other, enabling them to pick up noises from various species, including humans.
Researchers found that ‘lingual articulation’ is part of the reason why parrots can mimic human speech. Even though parrots lack lips and teeth, their beaks enable them to shape sounds.
Parrots are social creatures, so they mimic sounds or calls from their flock to fit in. However, they also pick up noises they like, such as a microwave beeping or a doorbell ringing.
A parrot won’t lose its voice without reason, and it’s unlikely that a parrot will refuse to vocalize for an extended period. Consult a vet if your parrot has been unusually silent for 24 hours.