The Real Way to a Talking Bird
Dear Parrot Lover,
Most parrot owners want to teach their parrots to talk because they relish the entertainment factor. Sure, a talking parrot can certainly provide hours of entertainment for your family and friends. But what if teaching your parrot to talk could eventually lead your parrot to save your life, or that of your family members?
Now not all species of parrots can talk. Here is a list of a few of the most common parrot and bird species that have the innate ability to learn how to talk:
- African Grey Parrots
- Amazon Parrots, such as Lilac Crowned, Blue Fronts, Double Yellowheads, and Red Loreds
- Mynah birds
- Quaker Parrots
It was the last species on this list, a Quaker Parrot that had been taught to speak by his owner.
Quaker parrots are known to be extremely social birds that are very friendly creatures. Often they are also referred to as the ‘intelligent clowns’ of the parrot world. Quaker parrots are very curious and playful. But they also have a wonderful reputation as being excellent talkers.
A Quaker Parrot called Willie lived in Denver, Colorado, USA, with his human family. Over the years Willie had learned to talk and amongst his vocabulary were such words and phrases as “I love you”, “Baby”, and “Mama”. Willie was taught to talk by his young owner, Meagan
One day, Meagan was babysitting two year old Hannah Kuusk. After giving Hannah a piece of Pop Tart as part of her breakfast, Meagan left the room to the use the bathroom.
Unfortunately, while Meagan was out of the room, Hannah started to choke on the Pop Tart. In an attempt to warn Meagan, Willie began to screech and flap his wings uncontrollably. Having never heard Willie make such a commotion before, Meagan rushed back into the room.
“While I was in the bathroom, Willie started screaming like I’d never heard before, and started flapping his wings,” Meagan said.
“Then he started saying ‘Mama baby’ over and over and over again until I came out.”
As soon as Meagan re-entered the room she noticed that Hannah was choking and that her face had already started to turn blue. Thinking quickly, Meagan was able to perform the Heimlich maneuver, which dislodged the food.
“If Willie wouldn’t have warned me, I probably wouldn’t have come out of the bathroom in time because she was already turning blue,” Meagan stated.
Willie was honored by The Red Cross with an Animal Lifesaver Award.
The Real Way to a Talking Bird
Talking is a social skill
If you have been wanting to teach your parrot to talk, you’re in luck! Parrots are so naturally social with one another that they have as a species developed a varied system of vocalizations to communicate with one another. When they are with people and not other birds they still desire to communicate. You’ll still have the common bird sounds, but your parrot will likely try to communicate in other ways too….like talking.
Birds pick up the sounds of their flock when they are very young. These sounds are used to locate other members of the flock and call over a distance. Your parrot will try to mimic many of the words and sounds he hears you make just like he would the sounds from his flock. It’s not true talking and shaping of words like we do as humans. Parrots don’t have lips or mouths that can shape words and they also don’t have vocal cords.
Factors that affect bird speech
Birds are individuals and each bird will learn and speak at a different rate. The younger the bird is when you obtain him often helps since he is influenced by you and has bonded with you. It also helps if the bird’s personality is not fearful in nature. Your bird needs to feel comfortable and confident in your presence in order to really get talking.
Training your bird no more than 15 minutes a day can really help him learn to talk. Repetition helps him learn the words. He won’t get it right the first time or two. When you do hear him make attempts to repeat a word be sure to praise and reward him. Attention from you, stroking him, or a small treat will let him know he’s gotten it right.
Other factors can affect your bird’s rate of learning such as different voices, vocal patterns, or frequencies. The amount of distractions in the environment can greatly affect the training process, particularly if there is another bird present.
The “Real” way to a bird learning to speak
Birding professional Chet Womach has developed a system for training known as the Real Speech training system. The system helps you identify what will work best for your individual bird. The Teach Your Parrot to Speak package is risk-free with a 30 day test trial, but it’s likely you’ll find so much information you will be highly satisfied. Your bird will be talking
like never before!