Did you know Parakeets have a knack for talking? These birds
are gifted in the talking department and can pick up large
vocabularies. Buying a Parakeet for his talking ability is not
ethical and should not be done. All parrots are different and
some will never talk. This article was intended to inform pet
owners of their Budgie’s potential to speak, and positive ways
talking can be encouraged.
Firstly, selecting a young bird is important. If a
young bird is selected then talking is greatly increased. Why is
this? A young Budgie is more likely to pick up human speech
rather than an older Budgie since it has been exposed to humans.
Most Budgies that are older were kept in aviaries with other
Budgies; therefore, they have imprinted vocal abilities from other
Budgies. This critical window is important for selecting a good
candidate for talking. Older Budgies may be able learn a few
words; however, most will resort to their natural Budgie calls.
This does not mean you have to purchase a handfed Parakeet, just
one that has fledged and is very impressionable.
Another factor that produces good talkers is how
strongly the bird bonds to its owner. A Budgie who is bonded will
try to communicate with the person it desires. The more time
spent with the parrot, the more the bird will try to communicate.
This means the bird should be kept alone and other Budgies must
not be present. Two Budgies housed together will easily avoid
human interaction and prefer each other. Keep your Budgie with
you until a bond is established.
Remember the days when bird enthusiasts were told
to keep repeating words to their birds in a dark room with a towel
covering the cage? Do you recall buying those tapes that repeated
certain phrases over and over? These are old methods that are
outdated. We are finding that parrots with large vocabularies
come from households that interact with the bird daily. Their
owners spend lots of quality time interacting and talking to them,
one on one.
Spending time with your parrot is important to its
mental health and its speech development. Birds that are taught
with the outdated ways lose interest and only learn a few words.
Birds who are talked to and interacted by their owners daily are
the best talkers.
What are some ways to teach your bird to talk?
Start by talking to your bird every time you change his food
bowls or every time you offer treats. Start with something simple
like, “Is that yummy?” When you reach for the bird and he steps
up on command say sometime like, “Good bird.” While you’re
playing with the bird and his toys you might want to say, “Is that
fun?” See how incorporating phrases help to reinforce speech?
You’ll be amazed at how quickly they learn. Once the phrase is
clear find another activity with another phrase. Before you know
it, your Parakeet will be picking up all kinds of words.
Male or Female for talking?
Does it matter if my Budgie is
a male or female? The answer is NO; however, males seem to be
better at talking. Females can talk, usually their words are not
as clear as the males. Why is this? We believe that because
males vocally court the females, they are better designed for
talking. Females vocalize, but not to the extent of the males.
With that said, females still talk and should not be penalized due
to their vocal ability.
Do Budgies know what they are
Do Budgies understand what they say? The answer is
unknown; however, years of research by Dr. Irene Pepperberg, has
yielded some interesting results. She studies the cognition
abilities of African Grey parrots. According to hear research,
her subject Alex, can identity objects and answer simple
questions. Though she has produced some remarkable results, she
has been working with her parrot for many years. Another case of
a parrot, that is believed to have full blown cognition, is Victor
the talking Budgie. This little parrot has caused so much
controversy—many will argue he can talk with meaning. Others are
quick to shoot this theory down. Whatever his abilities are,
Victor has a large vocabulary and just listening to him is
It is safe
to say that parrots talk for a reason. It would be a huge
mistake to believe that parrots only mimic. Parrots are
intelligent creatures and deliberately use speech to support
their wants— whether it is for affection, treats, or emotions.