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Teaching Your Parrot Bird To Talk

Jan 13, 2008
To have a talking bird, it is preferable that you purchase a young, hand raised bird between the ages of two and six months. Older birds will not learn as fast and wild or untrained birds will be more difficult to train as they have already got used to the sounds ingrained in their heads. If you can only purchase an adult bird, you will need a lot of patience to train it to talk as it will take a much longer time, but it is not impossible.

The ability for your bird to mimic the human spoken words depend largely on the species, the character of your bird, your technique and how tame your bird is. You will need to work on taming your bird first and build its confidence in you as its master before you can succeed at training it to talk, so you have to work on that part. You will know that the bird is ready to be trained to talk if it is calm and looks at you confidently when you approach it.

The African Grey parrot, Greater Indian Hill Mynah and the Javan Hill Mynah are perfect talking birds to have because they are easier to train and very proficient. The tonal qualities and pronunciation may differ between these species but overall they are the more popular birds among bird lovers.

These birds can live for many years and bring much joy and companionship to you as you build their vocabulary and work on their tonal quality. Parrots may take in more words and be able to retain them as they have a stronger memory than the others.

Train your bird to talk every morning before you take off the cage cover. Repeat a word or phrase over and over again and make it a ritual. Your bird will be able to concentrate on the sounds in the dark and will try to respond to you with the same sound it hears. Do this also at different times of the day and especially during feeding time or when giving it its favorite tidbit. When the bird gets used to this, it will use the same sounds to get your attention while you are out sight when it is hungry or needs attention. When you hear this, reply back with the same words as affirmations, but do not approach the cage. When the bird tries to make a different expression, add in other words and phrases. This indicates that your bird is ready to learn new words to add into its vocabulary.

You can also use a recording to train your bird to talk or mimic sounds. Most bird parks use these method as a form of training as different bird trainer has different tonality or pronunciation. Make a recording on tape or CD and use words and phrases with clarity. If you do not have a good voice, ask someone you know to do it for you, or purchase a CD from a bird shop. Play the recording at different times of the day as this will surely have a great impact on your bird.

If you are making your own recording, do not put too many words and phrases in it as the bird has a small brain capacity. Ever heard of the phrase "bird brain" that is used so often on people? Expose your bird to a few words and phrases at a time and be patient about this. Your bird, if a parrot, can live beyond forty years, so what do you have to lose? If you intend to introduce new words and phrases, do this on another recording on tape or CD, and incorporate the older words in this new recording as well as a form of revision. This works very well in keeping the previous words permanently in your bird's vocabulary.
About the Author
Azmi Adnan is a writer and a bird enthusiast. Visit his website at http://www.power-to-live.com/parrot.html and learn more about developing a life-long relationship with your birds.
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