Get Busy Talking or Get Busy Squaking!

A common goal shared by many parrot owners is to train their feathered friend to talk! Talking parrots are often the life of the party in any room they are in, and a great conversation starter. All of the parrot species posses the anatomy required to imitate sounds or human speech. 

What Types of Parrots are More Likely to Talk?DOUBLE_YELLOW-HEAD.310123830_large

Generally, larger parrots with a naturally larger brain will be more inclined to talk readily, based on intelligence. It is easier to train a bird to speak while they are young, it’s hard to teach an old dog new tricks! A well known master of the vocal mimicry is the African Grey parrots. Other large/medium-large parrots that will have an easier time learning to speak include but are not limited to macaws, cockatoos, amazons and ring-necked parakeets.

These parrots may learn to talk, or they may never speak a day in their lives. It is proven that parrots are harder to train if they are in a group or with other birds. Success with a source of media playing repeatedly is slim is very slim, one on one interaction with your bird daily is necessary.

What Words Should I Start Out With?

Often, you will have a greater success rate if you associate your words with your actions, instead of random words. A great start to teaching your young parrot some easy words is to simply say “Hello!” and “Goodbye!” when entering and exiting your home or room. Parrots will pick up words that you say enthusiastically much easier. a lot of parrots will learn words or phrases like “Ouch!” or “Shut-up!” just from hearing you say them without thinking. Teaching them words they are already familiar with is a great start as well. Try saying the name of a fruit or nut when feeding it to them, they will pick it up. Even if they do not learn to speak the word, they will react and recognize the word being associated with that food and react.

168663169What Tone of Voice Should I Use?

The idea is to get your bird very excited! If your parrot seems bored and uninterested, odds are they will not be learning anything. The word or phrase you want your pet to learn should be spoken loudly, enthusiastically, and with a high voice! This makes the word or phrase memorable and exciting for the parrot. try saying the same words repeatedly but changing your tonality and pitch to keep your bird interested!

Can My Parrot Forget Words/Phrases?

Stub your toe one to many times beside your parrot and now is blurting out profanities? Trainers refer to the process of behavior disappearing “extinction”.  Parrots feed off of our reactions, if you hear your bird speak something you do not want him to be speaking, do not feed a reaction. Do not look, scold or yell at the parrot, simply ignore it. Continue to react to your bird for the words and phrases you do like, and eventually the bird will forget it. Most importantly, stop saying it yourself!

Spend some one-on-one training time with your parrot! Pisces recommends: ZuPreem Real Rewards Tropical Mix. Reward your parrot with bits of dried fruit and they will quickly learn what to do to earn some treats! Most importantly, have fun!!