Parrot talking

Parrot speech training 1

Parrots are excellent mimics. Given regular lessons, they can become fluent talkers. The most reliable of parrots for speech are the African Gray Parrot, and some Amazon Parrots These are just a few of the better birds for speech.

There is considerable variation from parrot to parrot within any given species.

Parrots like the orange winged or lilac-crowned amazons may not have the reputation for being great talkers, but many of them are. No matter what type of parrot you buy, you can expect at least one or two words.

The amount and quality of the parrot's talking depends most upon the trainer. People that make the effort to teach the bird are usually rewarded for their work. It is best to have a single pet for speech training. Keep mirrors away from the birds. Give lessons at least once or twice a day. Try to use the bird's natural desire to vocalize in the morning and afternoon by giving your lessons at those times.

Only one person should teach the bird to speak its first words. Have the bird sit on its stand or in its cage and teach it one word at a time. Begin with "Hello" followed by the bird's name. A one- or two-syllable name is easiest for the bird to learn. Repeat the word "Hello" distinctly and slowly every few seconds. Have food rewards on hand to bribe the parrot as soon as it makes any sound in response to your "Hello."

Don't expect to have the bird duplicate your speech at first. In the first lessons, reward the parrot for any vocalization at the appropriate time. Work closer and closer to the word as the lessons progress. Once the bird vocalizes for you consistently, listen for two-syllable sounds and reward immediately. The parrot will soon attach the reward with its imitation.

Some birds attain the first work quickly, while others take eight weeks or more. Once the first word is repeated by the parrot consistently, you can begin to teach a second word. The second and third words should be simple. Limit the number of syllables that you expect the bird to duplicate. After "Hello," a two-syllable sound, go to "How are you?" or "Hi sweetie," which are both three-syllable sounds.

Build your parrot's vocabulary as you would a child's. At first, teach simple words and phrases; later go on to phrases with many syllables. Parrots can learn short musical phrases also. Whatever you decide to teach, stick with it until the bird says it. If you try to teach two different things at once, the bird will have a hard time learning either.

Tape-recorded speech lessons work, but are not recommended. The goal is for the parrot to talk to you, not a tape recorder. Most people put on the recording when they go to work or out for the evening.

The parrot may learn to speak, but not with people present. The fact is, it may speak very well when no one is there but say nothing with people around. If you want to use tapes to supplement your live lessons, go ahead, but make certain to still give the lesson every day.

You can teach your bird to speak without standing in front of it, but the bird probably won't talk on command. Command speech means that the bird will repeat after you whenever you want it to.

Even if you don't have time for command speech training, you should talk to you parrot as you get ready for work in the morning, while you service its cage, or do household chores.

A parrot that talks is lots of fun, and a happier bird. Even if it doesn't talk on command, you'll be amazed at how well parrots can imitate the human voice. It is not necessary to darken the room or cover the cage for speech lessons.

Don't try to teach the parrot to speak with television or music in the background. Work in a quiet room and pay all of your attention to the lesson. An old wives tale still persists that splitting the bird's tongue will facilitate speech. This is a cruel idea and should never be done. Such treatment can kill the bird and does absolutely nothing to improve its speech.

Parrots speak well because of their excellent hearing and the physiology of their tongue, throat and vocal cords. There are two types of speech training worth discussing here imitative speech refers to:

  • The parrot repeating a phrase after it is said by the trainer; It is imitating the trainer's words.
  • Responsive speech refers to the parrot replying to the trainer's phrase with an answer; it is responding to the trainer's words.

For example, the parrot is imitating when the trainer says "Hi sweetie, " and the birds answers "Hi sweetie." The parrot is responding when the trainer asks "what's your name?" and the bird replies "Sinbad."

To teach responsive speech, first teach the parrot the answer to your question or the reply to your statement. Work on the response until the parrot says it consistently. Then begin asking the question and reward the parrot for the appropriate response. It is important that the parrot take food rewards in order to teach it responsive speech. This process is more difficult and time consuming than imitation, but well worth it. People think it is impossible to teach older birds to talk.

Truly, it is easier to teach a young bird, but some older parrots will learn to talk even though their speech may be limited to a few words. With young parrots it is possible to teach an unlimited amount of words, phrases and sounds.

Remember to work on one thing at a time and build your parrot's repertoire slowly. Over eight or nine years a parrot can develop an amazing vocabulary. As long as you keep up the lessons consistently, the parrot will learn new words. after a while it becomes difficult to think of new things to teach the bird, but at this point you will have a really accomplished parrot.

See also How to teach a parrot to talk (Speech training 2)


 Parrot talking