Talking birds can provide years of companionship, entertainment, and love for owners looking for an unconventional pet. In this post, our Mechanicsburg vets offer insight into the best talking birds and their personalities, plus advice on cost and ownership.
What are the best types of talking birds?
Talking birds make for exciting and entertaining pets, though they don’t get that way by themselves; they’ll need lots of patient training and engagement from an attentive owner.
These intelligent, charming, and brightly colored feather creatures will provide years of companionship and chatter if you are willing to invest in training and keeping them healthy and happy, as they have a long lifespan and require time and energy to keep content.
In return, you'll have a loyal friend who will continually charm, amuse and entertain. Each breed will have its quirks and different personalities, so get to know them and find one to love. Here is our list of the best talking birds.
Widely considered to be the smartest, most intelligent talking bird in the world, the African grey parrot originally hails from West and Central African rainforests and can grow a vocabulary of hundreds of words. They are known for their exceptional understanding and imitation of human speech.
Their ability to learn new words will be determined by their relationship with their owner, as they tend to attach to only one person. They learn from the various types of voices that surround them the most, and they are intelligent enough to make different sounds to frighten off predators. Providing lots of treats as they learn will help them improve their communication skills quickly.
Double Yellow Head Amazon
This medium-sized, strikingly bright-colored parrot holds the distinction of being one of the most popular pet species of the Amazon parrot group. An affectionate pet, they are intelligent and will soak up your attention, so beware that this beauty will need a lot of it.
It has an incredible ability to mimic human voices (including opera singing) and a passion for music. You two will create some lovely music together. A word of caution about this bird: it is a boisterous, noisy bird that will frequently scream twice a day, at dawn and dusk. Though normal, these can be startling and last longer if the bird is bored due to a lack of mental stimulation or attention.
This bird, also known as the budgie or parakeet, makes an excellent pet and is capable of learning a variety of songs and phrases. Don't be fooled by this small talking hird; budgies have broken world records for the largest bird vocabulary, though not all birds in the species have the same potential, and vocabulary varies between individuals.
They are very smart, social birds who enjoy practicing chatting with their caretakers. You’ll find they tend to imitate words their owner frequently uses. Both females and males can imitate human speech, though male birds appear to be better at speaking words in the right tone versus females.
Some parrots will even learn an entire song and serenade you with it, thanks to their ability to mimic human speech and the words they hear around them in high quality. Males and females both have endearing voices and characteristics.
They are typically gentle and friendly, thrive on socialization with caretakers, and are not usually excessively boisterous or noisy.
Indian Ringneck Parakeet
Indian Ringneck Parakeets are notorious talkers and clever birds with a talent for learning longer phrases in addition to shorter words. They prefer to speak in their own distinct, high-pitched "bird voice" rather than mimic human voices. Many people can memorize dozens or hundreds of words.
Provided they are properly socialized and handled daily by their caretakers, are they typically charming birds who love learning new tricks (think waving hello with a foot).
Do all parrots talk?
No. Each bird is unique, just like humans, and some will never learn to speak, regardless of species. Choose a bird for its distinct personality and because you want to provide a good home for a feathered friend, not because you hope it will be endowed with the ability to converse.
How much does a talking parrot cost?
Keep in mind that members of the parrot or parakeet family will necessitate a significant time and financial commitment. They can range in price from $20 (for a baby budgie) to $5,000.
Also, note that birds have a much longer lifespan than the average pet - there are some larger species that will outlive even their owners, so appropriate care, budget, and planning for the future are required.