I had an exhausting day between my two toddlers and work. I had the kids bathed and down for the night. I tucked my parrot in for the night and told him parrot how much I loved him. While putting the cover over the cage I asked him how his day went and told him about my day. He seemed a little huffy because we weren't able to spend as much time together as we usually did, but we made up and I went to bed.
My bird and I had a pretty set pattern beginning each morning. The first thing I would do, would be to uncover his cage. During the morning routine I voiced everything I was doing. Things like, "let’s get your cage door opened, and I will go get you some fresh food and water". I would ask him questions; do you want to go outside with me today? Or, would you like to go for a ride in the car today? I voiced everything.
The next morning I did something I rarely did. I slept in and it felt great. Something woke me out of a deep sleep. I set up and listened. My parrot repeated what he had just said, I thought I was dreaming. “Come here and open this darn door, now!” I had been late getting him up. He had never heard those words in that sentence before. I am sure with all my vocalizations he had heard everyone of those words in different sentences.
Maybe he heard me yell at the kids, close the darn door. I am sure he heard me say, come here, to either him or the kids. He heard me say, as I would wake him up; let’s get your door open so that you can play. He repeated the same sentence one more time, and then I came out to the living room and opened his door. He never, ever said that exact sentence again.
In fact, his very next words were; BUG mama BUG. I came running. He was up on his playpen, following a bug up the wall with one feathery-lined eyeball. When he saw me come in he repeated what he had said, "BUG mama!" I went and got a little cup and captured the bug and took it outside. He seemed pleased that the bug was gone. I was thinking to myself, if you were in the wild you would probably had eaten that bug.
He was walking across the living room floor one day, searching for me most likely. I heard another BUG mama! I asked him, "goodness gracious kiddo why are you so concerned with bugs?"
His speech improved tremendously over the years; though he never, ever repeated that first sentence again, Come here and open this darn door, now! Though, I doubt if I have ever slept in since that morning.
Find out how my parrot learn to say these astonishing words. It wasn't repetition it was by learning language - learn how to teach your bird to talk. Here is the beginning of this fascinating story. Birds - Teaching your Parrot to Talk
Birds that I have had that have talked
Not all birds talk. Even some birds in the African Grey species will not talk. You must choose a bird to be your companion and love your companion if it learns to talk or not. Many subspecies within a species may not be as good as talkers.
African Grey, African Gray (can have vocabularies to 1000 words)
Starlings (they can whistle a pretty good tune as well)
Amazons – mostly Yellow Napes, Blue Fronts, and Double Yellowheads
Conures – not great talkers; enjoyable for their clowning around.
Macaws – they have rough monotone voices but many learn to talk well
Cockatoos not great talkers but can learn some words, (better at snuggling)
Parakeets or budgerigars – smaller birds are more difficult to understand
Cockatiel – can talk but could be difficult to understand.
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Diana Geiger Exotic Pets Editoron