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Tips To Get Your Pet Bird Talking

Try these tips to encourage your pet bird to talk.

By Elise Kaplan

A pet bird learning to talk with his owner
Start with simple words when you begin teaching your bird to talk.

Pet Bird Talking Tip 1
Start with something simple, and be consistent. Our Senegal Pie’s first word was “Hi!” in two happy, musical notes, the same way I said it to her countless times as I took her out to play.

Pet Bird Talking Tip 2
Speak with emphasis and enthusiasm, and use your bird’s name often. Pie seems to enjoy hearing her name in speech or song, especially when she is described as “Pretty bird” or “Pretty Pie.” Apparently, she couldn’t agree more.

Pet Bird Talking Tip 3
Use consistent phrases. Many parrots learn to say things like “Bye bye” when someone is leaving or “Is that good?” when a treat is at hand. Pie surprised me once by saying, “Good night, sweet pea” when I was settling the other birds in for the night, and she was still awaiting her bedtime. Your bird will come to associate the phrase with the activity and, with luck and patience, use the phrase to prompt (and amuse) you.

Pet Bird Talking Tip 4
Keep your bird happy and healthy. When you’re under the weather, you’re probably not much of a chatterbox yourself. Your parrot’s basic needs must be met before it can relax and enjoy making new sounds. Make sure its diet, activity level, lighting and overall health are good.

Pet Bird Talking Tip 5
Be your parrot’s best companion. A parrot tends to learn from its peers; if it spends the day with a nontalking Pionus or Senegal, don’t be surprised if it starts speaking “Pionese” or “Senegali” instead of English.

Encourage Your Parrot To Talk
Interacting and talking with your parrot will encourage it to communicate with you. More>>

Pet Bird Talking Tip 6
Don’t expect your parrot to speak on command. Pie talks her head off when she’s home with us, especially in the morning (a chatty time for most parrots), but she often clams up around company. And she says what she feels like saying — always.

You may have a little trouble encouraging your bird to talk if something in the parrot’s situation changes. A household move, a change in your routine, such as a new job, and especially adding a new bird to the house can all quiet a parrot down. On the other hand, sometimes having a new bird around can stimulate a reluctant talker.


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Reader Comments
good idea.Do you think Cockatiels can become good talkers? Salty makes a kiss noise, and whistles,and copy's other bird songs but he does not talk.
Valerie, paradise valley, AZ
Posted: 7/3/2011 9:05:34 PM
Awesome article. Will definitly tray some of the tips listed.
Cheryl, North Fort Myers, FL
Posted: 3/8/2011 1:15:50 AM
Some good ideas.
Dee, Sandy Valley, NV
Posted: 9/14/2010 10:55:26 PM
My little flock of budgies talk in the morning when noone's in the room. After that, it's a potpourri of chirps and whistles when there is company or the TV is on.
joan, franklin square, NY
Posted: 4/8/2010 7:43:44 AM
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