How to Teach a Bird to Talk
When people hear the word "parrot," most of them probably think of a bird that can talk. However, most people probably don't know why birds vocalize. Just as they would with other birds in the wild, pet birds want to communicate and interact. Birds are naturally social creatures, and they often view their owners as one of their own kind. Birds are extremely intelligent creatures, and they thrive off of interaction. They mimic voices because they are intrigued by the sound, and they quickly realize that they receive attention when they talk. It can be difficult to teach birds to vocalize, so here are some suggestions on how to start!
Tips For Teaching Your Bird To TalkYour bird is more likely to talk if you or your family are very verbal. The more words that a bird is exposed to, the more words he will learn. It might help to record yourself talking and then play it repeatedly for your bird. A good way to start teaching your bird to talk is by associating his favorite foods and activities with words. If he favors a particular food, treat, or activity, say the words to him right before you give him the treat or participate in the activity.
Consistency and repetition are key. Try saying "hello" every time you walk into your bird's room, or say "goodbye" every time that you have to leave. If your bird starts mimicking these words, try adding his name to the phrase: "Hello, Polly!" It helps to give treats and praise as encouragement if your bird starts making noise or saying words.
Birds are more attracted to high frequency voices; if you say something enthusiastically, they will be more likely to mimic you. Try talking in an excited and high voice when you want him to mimic you. If this doesn't seem to work, try whispering or singing to him. See what sounds and pitches your bird responds to, and watch his body language to learn what noises he likes.
Once your bird has started mimicking you, you will want to be careful about what you say in front of him. Swearing or criticizing the neighbors might come back to bite you. If your bird does mimic something undesirable, it is best to simply ignore him when he says it. Don't yell at him to stop because this will only encourage him further.
Just because birds have the ability to talk doesn't mean that they always will. Generally, younger birds will learn to vocalize quicker. It can be a slow process, quite similar to a child learning to talk. Keep on trying and don't get discouraged too quickly!
Discover More!Love Your Bird: Big Bird the Talkative Macaw
Love Your Bird: Salem the Sports Fanatic
My First Bird: What Kind of Bird Should I Get
Return to Bird Articles