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Do Lovebirds Talk? [Teaching Them to Talk]December 27, 2023
Like dogs, birds need daily care, including cleaning, playtime, socializing, and training, and they might need costly medical care. Moreover, some birds can be really good at talking if they get lots of time and training.
But remember, each bird is different. Even if they come from a species known for talking, they might not talk at all. On the other hand, a bird not known for talking might surprise you by talking a lot. In this article, you will learn about a few birds that talk like humans and what to expect from them.
16 Birds That Talk Like Humans
Here are the sixteen most popular birds that can learn to talk like humans with super impressive vocab!
1: The African Grey Parrot
The grey parrot is one of the world’s best bird talkers, originating from equatorial Africa, from the Ivory Coast to Kenya. They have a delightful and soft voice and can learn over a hundred words, sometimes even a thousand.
They’re smart enough to mix words they know to describe new things and even identify colors, similar to how a four to six-year-old child thinks. However, these birds require a lot of stimulation and rigorous training to talk.
Unlike other parrots with bright colors, grey parrots have various shades of grey feathers, with white around their head and body and red feathers on their tails. They’re trendy as exotic pets, but sadly, they are endangered in the wild due to illegal poaching and the loss of their natural habitat.
The Budgerigar, also known as the common parakeet or budgie, is an Australian parrot family member. It has yellow, blue, green, and white feathers with black markings. Known for its exceptional ability to talk, it’s considered one of the most verbally skilled birds.
Budgies mimic speech to fit into their ‘flock,’ whether it’s other birds or a human family. A budgerigar named Puck held a record for knowing 1,728 words, but typically, they can learn hundreds, often sounding like a human. These social birds enjoy interacting with their owners and practicing new words.
Related Read: American Budgie vs. English Budgie | Which one to get?
3: Amazon Parrot
The Amazon parrot across South and Central America include 30 unique species, all adorned in green or red feathers. These parrots are known for their impressive speech abilities, likely due to their social nature. They are naturally communal, often seen in large groups for activities like foraging and nesting.
Historical records show that these parrots have captivated humans with their vocal skills for centuries, with mummified parrots predating European arrival. Despite the ban on poaching, they are still popular as pets. Some have even escaped and formed wild flocks globally.
Mynah birds, native to Asia, are famous for their remarkable ability to mimic human speech, making them a fascinating species in the world of talking birds. Known for their distinctive brown body, black head, and bright yellow markings, they thrive in urban environments and adapt well to human presence.
Mynahs are brilliant and social creatures, often observed engaging in complex communication with their peers. Their ability to replicate sounds and words with astonishing clarity has made them popular pets.
However, their talent for imitation extends beyond speech; they can also mimic environmental sounds, showcasing their incredible auditory learning capabilities.
5: Rose-Ring Parakeet
The rose-ringed parakeet, or the ring-necked parakeet, is a medium-sized bird found widely in India and parts of Africa. Recognizable by its light green feathers, orange beak, and distinctive rose-colored ring around the neck, it has adapted well to urban areas.
Unlike other birds affected by urbanization and deforestation, these parakeets have learned to mimic human speech effectively. They are exceptionally skilled at remembering longer phrases. There are tales of them visiting gardens and imitating the daily prayers of Indian religious figures. It’s believed they can learn several hundred words.
6: The Eclectus Parrot
The Eclectus Parrot, known for its striking sexual dimorphism where males are bright green and females are predominantly red and blue, is native to the rainforests of the Solomon Islands, New Guinea, northeastern Australia, and the Maluku Islands (Moluccas).
These parrots are highly capable of mimicking human speech. Their ability to learn and reproduce human language is remarkable, with many Eclectus Parrots developing extensive vocabularies.
They are intelligent and require mental stimulation, so teaching them to talk can also be a form of enrichment. Owners often report that Eclectus Parrots are good at mimicking words and understanding the context to use them.
They can display a high level of cognitive ability for a bird. However, like all parrots, their speaking ability varies from individual to individual.
Cockatiel parrots, often called ‘cockatiels,’ are among the most popular pet birds and belong to the cockatoo family. Native to Australia, they are smaller than most parrots and recognizable by their distinctive crests and varied color patterns, with the most common being grey bodies, white on the wings, and orange cheek patches.
Cockatiels are known for their friendly and affectionate nature, making them great companions. They are not as proficient in mimicking human speech as other parrot species, but they can learn a few words and phrases. However, their strength lies in their ability to whistle and mimic household sounds, such as alarm clocks, telephones, and even melodies.
Their social nature means they enjoy interaction and engagement with their owners. Training them to talk or whistle can be a bonding experience, but patience is vital as they might take time to learn.
Cockatiels require significant attention and mental stimulation to stay happy and healthy, making them a commitment similar to owning a larger parrot.
8: Quaker Parrots
The Quaker Parrot, or the Monk Parakeet, is a small, bright green parrot with a greyish breast and greenish-yellow abdomen. Originating from South America, these birds are notable for their strong social skills and ability to build large, intricate nests.
Quaker Parrots are especially known for their exceptional speaking abilities. They have a remarkable capacity to mimic human speech and can develop an extensive vocabulary. These birds are adept at imitating words and phrases and can do so with clear articulation, often surprising people with their vocal skills.
Macaws, a group of highly intelligent and vibrant parrots, are well-known for their impressive ability to mimic human speech. These large birds, often characterized by their bright, multicolored plumage, are among the most adept at speaking like humans in the parrot family.
Their capacity to learn and replicate human language is remarkable. Macaws can develop extensive vocabularies and can speak words and phrases with clarity. Some species, like the Blue-and-Gold Macaw, are renowned for their speaking abilities. They mimic words and can also learn to use them contextually, showing a high level of understanding for a bird.
Cockatoos, known for their distinctive crests and curved bills, are a diverse group of parrots found primarily in Australia and the surrounding islands. These birds are recognized for their striking appearance, with many species sporting predominantly white, black, or pink plumage.
Cockatoos are pretty capable when mimicking human speech, although their proficiency can vary widely among individuals and species. Some cockatoos can learn a modest vocabulary and can repeat words and phrases they hear frequently. Their vocalizations are often clear and surprisingly loud, reflecting their gregarious nature.
Also, Read: 25 Birds With Red Heads (+Pictures Included)
Ravens, renowned for their intelligence and adaptability, are among the most impressive non-parrot birds at mimicking human speech. These black-feathered birds, larger and more robust than crows, possess a remarkable ability to replicate a variety of sounds, including human words.
Their vocal skills, combined with their problem-solving abilities, make them fascinating subjects in studies of bird cognition. Ravens can learn to articulate words and phrases with astonishing clarity for a wild bird.
Starlings, small to medium-sized passerine birds, are remarkable for their mimicry skills, including imitating human speech. Known for their glossy, iridescent plumage and social nature, starlings can replicate a diverse range of sounds from their environment.
In captivity, they have been known to learn and articulate words and short phrases with surprising clarity. Their ability to mimic is a testament to their intelligence and adaptability, making them intriguing birds for casual observers and ornithologists.
Mockingbirds are famed for their extraordinary vocal abilities and are native to North America. These medium-sized birds are experts at mimicking various sounds, from other bird songs to mechanical noises.
While they are less known for imitating human speech, their skill in echoing different environmental sounds is unmatched. They often perform lengthy and complex vocal displays, showcasing their diverse repertoire and auditory memory.
Lyrebirds, native to Australia, are renowned for their exceptional mimicry skills and are often considered the best among birds. These ground-dwelling birds can imitate an astonishing array of sounds, from chainsaws and camera shutters to other bird species.
Their ability to replicate intricate and diverse sounds is unparalleled, making them a fascinating subject in avian vocalization. The superb lyrebird, in particular, is famous for its elaborate tail and captivating song.
Magpies, known for their striking black and white plumage, are brilliant birds in Europe, Asia, and western North America. They have a notable capacity for vocal mimicry, including the ability to imitate human speech.
Magpies are curious and social birds, and their mimicry often extends to environmental sounds and the calls of other bird species. Their vocal talents, combined with their problem-solving abilities, highlight their cognitive sophistication.
16: Hawk-Headed Parrot
The Hawk-headed Parrot, also known as the Red-fan Parrot, is a distinctive bird known for its unique appearance and moderate ability to mimic human speech. Native to the Amazon rainforest, this parrot is most notable for its striking “hawk-like” head feathers, which it can raise into a fan-like crest.
In terms of vocalization, Hawk-headed Parrots can learn and repeat words and phrases. However, their proficiency in mimicry is generally not as advanced as that of other parrot species like African Greys or Amazons. They can develop a basic vocabulary and are known to imitate common household sounds as well.
Which Is The Best Bird That Can Talk Like Humans?
The best bird for talking as a pet is the African Grey Parrot. Renowned for its exceptional ability to mimic human speech, the African Grey is brilliant and can develop an extensive vocabulary. They are known for their ability to repeat words and phrases and their capacity to use them contextually, displaying a level of understanding rare in birds. Their remarkable speech abilities and social nature make them a top choice for those seeking a talking bird pet.
What is the easiest bird to train to talk?
The Budgerigar, commonly known as a Budgie, is often considered the easiest bird to train to talk. These small parrots are highly intelligent and have a natural propensity for mimicking sounds, making them quick learners. Budgies can start mimicking human speech at a young age, and with consistent training and social interaction, they can learn various words and phrases.
How much does a talking bird cost?
The cost of a talking bird varies widely depending on the species, age, breeding quality, and where you purchase it. Here are some general price ranges for popular talking bird species:
- Budgerigars (Budgies): $10 to $35. These small parrots are the most affordable and are known for their ability to mimic speech.
- Cockatiels: $50 to $150. A bit larger than budgies, cockatiels can learn words and phrases.
- Quaker Parrots: $100 to $400. Known for their talking abilities, Quaker Parrots are mid-range in price.
- African Grey Parrots: $1,000 to $3,000. These are among the best talkers in the bird world but come with a higher price tag.
- Amazon Parrots: $500 to $3,000. The price varies greatly depending on the species of Amazon parrot.
- Macaws: $1,000 to $5,000. While known more for their stunning plumage, some macaws can be good talkers.
Also, Read: How Much Is A Peacock Worth? A-Z Guide
How long does it take to teach a parrot to talk?
The time it takes to teach a parrot to talk varies widely depending on several factors, including the species of the parrot, its individual personality, the environment, and the training methods used. Here are some general guidelines:
- Species Differences: Some species, like African Grey Parrots and Budgerigars, are quicker learners. These birds might start mimicking sounds within a few weeks or months. Others, like Macaws or Amazon Parrots, may take longer.
- Age of the Bird: Younger birds typically learn to talk more quickly than older ones. The ideal age for training a parrot to talk is when they’re still in their juvenile stage.
- Consistency of Training: Regular, consistent training sessions are crucial. Spending time daily, even 10-15 minutes, can be more effective than less frequent, longer sessions.
- The Individual Bird: Like humans, each bird has its own personality and learning pace. Some may start speaking rapidly, while others may take longer or show less interest in talking.
- Quality of Interaction: The quality of interaction between the bird and its owner plays a significant role. Birds who are socially engaged and encouraged to mimic through positive reinforcement tend to learn faster.
The Bottom Line
That concludes our list of the top pet birds known for their talking abilities like humans! If a large, intelligent bird with advanced speaking skills is what you’re after, then African Greys are a perfect choice.
On the other hand, if you’re new to bird ownership and prefer a smaller, easy-to-care-for bird, Budgerigars are ideal.
Remember, the smarter the bird, the more attention and care it may require. However, this commitment can be advantageous. A talking bird can be a fantastic stress reliever and a source of joy, amusing you with their playful behavior and beautiful songs.
Next Read: Do Lovebirds Talk? [Teaching Them to Talk]
With a lifelong love for animals, I’m on a mission to empower pet parents with knowledge, heartwarming stories, and practical tips to create a world where our beloved friends thrive in happiness and health.