Talking Parrots

Teaching Your Parrot to Talk

We are often asked by customers for the best way to teach a bird to talk. Everyone thinks a talking parrot is just the coolest thing. It is great if your parrot talks, but the reality is that not all parrots talk. Some parrots speak a few words, some clearly and some not so clear, and some parrots talk a lot, even making up their own songs and sentences. However, it is very important to realize that even if your bird never says one word, that doesn't mean your bird is anything less than absolutely wonderful!

We have found some species are known to be more talkative than others. Our top five species would be several amazon species, some African Greys, Quakers, Ringnecks, and Budgies. That does not mean if you buy one of the above you are guaranteed to have a talker. Every parrot has the capability to talk, but not every parrot talks.

Our Yellow Nape Amazons all talk and love to sing. Our Blue Fronts Amazons only say a few words. A couple of Double Yellow Head Amazons that board with us also talk very well. So those three would be our top talking Amazon suggestions.

If you are lucky enough to have an African Grey that talks, then without a doubt we believe Greys are the most perfectly pitched human sounding parrots around. However, not all Greys ever speak at all. Some prefer whistles and other noises than human speech.

Quakers and Ringnecks almost always say at least a few words, and some can become quite accomplished talkers. Their voices can be very clear and easy to understand.

Budgies are often the under-valued talkers of the bird world. Because they are small, and sometimes their voices are quieter than their large parrot family members, people don't see the great little talker right in front of them. Budgies have actually had some of the largest vocabularies of all talking parrot species.

Now how to get that bundle of feathers to actually begin talking is the challenge. Some birds begin quite naturally on their own by repeating the things their humans say. Often first words can be "step up", "NO!", "don't bite", "hello", "time for bed", mainly because they hear them daily.

Because birds generally love drama, repeating a word or phrase you want your bird to say in a very dramatic voice, sometimes helps. This is why quite often birds love to repeat those naughty words that sometimes slip out. Humans say those words usually when very irritated or angry, and that's real human drama and very interesting to the parrot who hears it.

To help speed things along you can try one or several of the training tapes that are produced especially to help your bird learn words, or even record your own voice and play it back.

The main tip to remember is be patient and try and make talk-training fun for the bird.