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Apartment-friendly parrots? 
16th-Jun-2008 09:32 pm

Out of curiousity, what species of parrots do you feel are suitable for apartment (or condo, townhome, duplex) dwellers? Do you have personal experiences to share?

Background: I'm closing in on the year anniversary of Beetle's (lovebird) passing and am finally feeling ready to commit to another parrot. With my living situation (apartment above a funeral home; the building is used maybe 2-3 times monthly for viewings & services), MANY species are out of the question (cockatoos, macaws, aratinga conures and likely Amazons). I'm considering a lovebird again or maybe a cockatiel. Many folks have suggested green-cheeked conures (and other pyrrhura species) and I'm awfully tempted. However, I just read two seperate listings for GCCs in my area needing to be rehomed due to apartment living, so I'm certainly having second thoughts. 

Please understand that I am fully aware the noise + parrots = is pretty much a given. I also understand that there are always exceptions to the rule (an excessively screechy cockatiel or a quiet cockatoo). I fully expect there to be noisy outbursts from time to time and my landlords (also my employers) are OK with that. They never had an issue with Beetle and do not have issues w/ an employee who lives above the other funeral home w/ her cockatiel. 

Thanks so much,



ETA: I live in NJ so quakers, psittacula parrots and Patagonian conures are not a consideration on any level. 

Also: the apartment runs the length of the funeral home, if that makes any sense. I always kept Beetle on the OPPOSITE end of the actual viewing room/parlor, which certainly helped during viewings and such. He could get a little noisy towards sunset but we never once had a family comment on that in the time that he was with me.  
17th-Jun-2008 02:49 am (UTC) - It all depends..
I'm one of those lucky folks who has never had a problem with keeping large, potentially LOUD birds in multiple apartments of varying construction styles. My take on it is to basically look at the individual bird, as opposed to the type of bird, when determining if the noise level is going to be too much.

In my experience, noise is as much a function of training and behavior management as it is a function of species of bird - perhaps more so. Even louder species of birds can be managed to minimize contact calling and other annoyance screaming. It won't eliminate ALL noise, but it can help.

Also, regardless of what kind of bird you decide to adopt, make sure that you have a backup plan for housing arrangements in case a noise / screaming issue develops - or perhaps set up a routine of out-of-home babysitting so if noise does become an issue, viewing nights can mean a fun outing for the new bird with a trusted friend or family member - that way the source of the noise isn't there to make trouble while official work-stuff is going on.

I know this isn't a direct answer to what you were asking, but I hope it at least helps a little.
17th-Jun-2008 02:56 am (UTC) - Re: It all depends..
It certainly does help -- Thank you!

I do have 4 parrot stores + my vet all within a reasonable distance, so if absolutely necessary, I could make arrangements to board in the event of a viewing or what-have-you... or I could just take birdie on a drive out to visit my parents.

I'm a fairly quiet person and I wonder if that is what kept Beetle on the quiet side. Sure, I listen to music and watch TV but not a high volume, I don't have high-energy kiddos or dogs in the house, etc. I'm not saying that makes for quiet parrots in all case but I'd imagine that a low energy household might help.

ETA: OMG, I just noticed your userpic. How appropriate :)

Edited at 2008-06-17 02:57 am (UTC)
17th-Jun-2008 03:23 am (UTC) - Re: It all depends..
:D Heh, yep, the icon was intentional :D

I think that you hit a really important point with energy level relating to noise - we have a fairly calm household as well, and either my husband or I are home for large chunks of most days - he works evenings, and I work part-time waiting tables just around the corner from home. I suspect that the amount of home time (even if it isn't always out-of-cage time) also contributes to the relatively low incidence of screaming that we have. There are days when we're ready to make Double Parrot Stew (and I swear they plan those days with great relish), but the infrequency makes them a lot easier to deal with.
17th-Jun-2008 03:18 pm (UTC) - Re: It all depends..
Oh yeah, I do think household noise level makes a difference. One of Kappa's favorite times to yell her head off trying out new noises is when my boyfriend and I are playing loud video games. Especially Rock Band - I think she hears my voice and tries to "sing" along. My boyfriend finds it irritating and distracting, but I think it's hilarious and makes the game even more fun. ^_^
17th-Jun-2008 04:05 am (UTC)
I live in an apartment and have a parrotlet. He can be loud sometimes, but not irritatingly loud even at his loudest, IMO.
17th-Jun-2008 04:29 am (UTC)
I've lived in apartments with a green cheek conure going on nine years now (5 apartments) and have never had a noise complaint. Often I've asked neighbors to please let me know if they hear her, but they always say they don't, with the exception of early summer/early fall when the windows are open. But even then she pretty much blends in with the other birds outside, except she isn't singing ;)
17th-Jun-2008 04:38 am (UTC)
Yeah. Definitely depends.

I have a parrotlet in an apartment and have for almost 3 years and he frequently makes noise, but I wouldn't call it 'loud' noise. It's not volume but frequency. 99.9% of the time he isn't loud enough that I can hear him outside my apartment. The .1% of the time he is loud enough to hear outside, the sound doesn't carry more than a few feet from the door, so the neighbors aren't likely to ever hear him unless we both have windows/doors open.

I also have a CAG and he -IS- loud, but not as frequently. There are times I've been as much as 100yards away and have heard him clearly, even with all the windows and doors closed. Loud. However, I've never had a noise complaint filed against me.

I made my judgments about what was acceptable by looking at the average noise levels of the birds I was looking at but also by using my knowledge of the apartment set up and gaging where I'd put the birds and how noisy they are at certain times of the day vs where my neighbors were/are and when they're likely to be bothered by it. (If that makes sense)
17th-Jun-2008 06:25 am (UTC)
sidenote: if I died and the funeral parlour I went to had a parrot I'd be so happy, especially if it spouted naughty words at inopportune moments. But, maybe that's just me.
17th-Jun-2008 06:53 am (UTC)
If you're in good standing with your neighbors and the bird doesn't scream excessively, you should be alright. In most cases people can work with the noise level of P. conures to make them exceptable in an apartment. If you're willing to work with them and your neighbors are not looking for a reason to complain, you may be okay.

Budgies and tiels are usually fine. Lovebirds, parrotlets, and pionus often are. P. Conures, african greys, eclectus, and hahn's macaws sometimes are okay, depending on the bird and situation.
17th-Jun-2008 11:06 pm (UTC)
Is that a grey-cheeked broto in the photo?!?!

18th-Jun-2008 12:03 am (UTC)
Yes! Not mine, sadly. He's awesome though! Are you familar with them?
18th-Jun-2008 12:22 am (UTC)
Yes and no... I've never owned one but I did know someone who had a grey-cheeked. I've thought about holding out for a broto and nearly brought a canary-winged parakeet home last Christmas.

Such an interesting species!
17th-Jun-2008 11:22 pm (UTC)
I have the worst Hahn's macaw ever, though I've lived in apartments with her and have never had complaints. She's quiet most of the time, but when she gets into one of her alarm modes or screaming times she's loud enough to wake the dead! Definitely a far cry from the cute babies I fell in love with at the parrot store (I later adopted Panzer from a previous home).

Oh well. They're all unique, eh?
20th-Jun-2008 11:41 am (UTC)
I think that's pretty typical of mini-macaws. My severe is also quiet most of the time but she spends about an hour each day screaming her head off and can be heard clearly from outside our house, and then there's pretty much nothing we can do to quiet her down.
17th-Jun-2008 07:06 am (UTC)
I agree with others that it can depend on the bird, seeing as someone in my apartment building once complained about my lovebird but not my Amazon. Birds like cockatiels are a good example of that, too. My sister's had two cockatiels and they're both very quiet, whereas my boyfriend's was a huge talker. As a whole, though, Pionus are all mostly quiet, as well as some Poicephalus species (Meyers and brown-headed, though the latter can be hard to find).
17th-Jun-2008 10:43 am (UTC)
Parrotlets are pretty quiet. My boy Cyrano even at his loudest is not loud. Plus they are the coolest little birds.
17th-Jun-2008 11:38 am (UTC)

quite colorful, quite affectionate and quite quiet :)
17th-Jun-2008 02:55 pm (UTC)
Well. Some pionus are quiet. You can come experience how quiet mine are anytime, bring earplugs... ;}
17th-Jun-2008 12:56 pm (UTC)
Well, since you've already had a lovie, you know the noise they're capable of, but for myself, Sunshine's loudest wouldn't be much of a problem in your situation, I think. She isn't too much louder than the cardinal that yells outside my bedroom window in the mornings. :D
17th-Jun-2008 01:19 pm (UTC)
I have a black capped conure. She is sweet, cuddly, a total clown, and active. She jumps up and down for attention. She does yell anytime I am not in visible sight. I am trying to break this by covering her cage for five minutes everytime she does this. It seems to be working. She is one year old and I purchased her from a bird store in nj. Bird paradise is an exceptional place and spent tons of time with me in choosing the right bird for me. My black capped is similar to the green cheeked conure. Hope that info helps.
17th-Jun-2008 11:07 pm (UTC)
Yay for BP :) I do visit the store from time to time as I've gotten to be friendly w/ one of the owners :)
17th-Jun-2008 02:17 pm (UTC)
I've been doing a lot of research on Poicephalus parrots recently since I am going to be fostering one starting this weekend, and nearly everything I've read says that they're one of the quieter parrot species. Of course, "quiet" is relative when you're dealing with parrots, but it might be worth keeping in mind. :)
18th-Jun-2008 12:11 am (UTC)
unless you have a screamer...see icon.
Nothing "quiet" about her.
19th-Feb-2009 11:44 pm (UTC)
hows that going for you? and how would one end up fostering birds?
17th-Jun-2008 03:01 pm (UTC)
I live in an apartment with a cockatiel and a poicephalus. I've not had a complaint, but I can hear my cockatiel from the parking lot occasionally if he's being loud. Even with all my windows closed. He's a loud one! My senegal is quieter than he is, most of the time. Her loudest calls rival his, but they're pretty infrequent; unless I'm not home and my roommate is, apparently. I've been told she contact calls for me pretty much the whole time I'm gone. :/
17th-Jun-2008 07:17 pm (UTC)
I could hear Beetle from time to time from outside the apartment. Usually mid-to-late afternoon on a sunny day, esp. in spring and summer.
17th-Jun-2008 03:15 pm (UTC)
As far as aratinga conures go, I've been having good luck w/ my dusky conure. She makes noise at certain specific times of the day, and her volume isn't usually much more than a loud cockatiel. The only time you really notice the volume issue is if she yells loudly while on your shoulder. My landlord tells me that she flock calls less frequently than my last cockatiel did - apparently Gabe would flock call whenever she heard anyone come home and also while I was home if I was out of her sight, while Kappa only flock calls if she knows I'm home and out of her sight. This may very well be an individual personality thing though, so YMMV.
17th-Jun-2008 11:27 pm (UTC)
Birdee was also fairly quiet, but I always have to remind myself that Dusky conures are known for being the quieter of the A. conures; I wouldn't recommend any other A. conure as an apartment bird based on their generalized noise levels.

. . . but I'm sure there are 20 others here who have sun conures in apartments ;)
19th-Jun-2008 01:37 am (UTC)
Duskies are an A. species that I've considered as well... I've read quite a few reports that they can be fairly quiet but that's often in comparison to suns and jendays ;)
17th-Jun-2008 03:52 pm (UTC)
I have my two Green cheeks in an apartment. I am surrounded all sides by other tenants, I've never had a noise complaint. Usually they scream once or twice a day usually around dusk in happiness of my husband arriving or wanting attention when we are in the other room. :) Other than that they are relatively silent.
I think it completely depends on how you 'live' with your bird on how the noise level will develop. A friend of mine a few blocks a way has a Molluccan Cockatoo in the similar apartment situation. :)
17th-Jun-2008 07:20 pm (UTC)
I had a sorority sister who lived in a duplex years ago; the downstairs neighbors used to have a cockatoo. I'd visited her on MANY occasions and never knew that they had a parrot!

That said, I don't think that I'd chance a cockatoo but pyrrhuras are certainly a species I'll give more thought to. I find them SO endearing :)
17th-Jun-2008 10:31 pm (UTC)
I love their attitude :)Pyrrhuras are definately one of my favorites.
18th-Jun-2008 12:13 am (UTC)
I say decide what kind of bird you like. I've never had a noise complaint. Especially if you pick a older or rehomed parrot you can probably get a good idea of their noise level and go from there.
19th-Feb-2009 11:33 pm (UTC)
I used to have a cockatiel and LOVED him. they are not bad noise wise. they chatter and whistle pretty often but certainly nothing ear peircing or obnoxious.

also, make sure you socialize it, theres nothing more annoying that a nippy bird...
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