Talking is exclusive to humans, which is why we’re intrigued by pet birds that can talk, but can they really talk? Unfortunately, birds don’t have the vocal cords of humans.
In fact, their voice is produced the same way as songbirds sing; imagine a bird’s voice as their song. Therefore, when picking a bird that can “talk,” you should know their voice can range from soothing to annoying, especially if you reside in a flat with thin walls.
Below, we’ll delve into different types of talking birds, so let’s dive right in!
Pet Birds That Can Talk
Some people don’t find cats, dogs, or guinea pigs as interesting as birds, especially pet birds that can talk.
It’s obvious why they’re intrigued by these birds. However, they forget that owning a bird comes with the same responsibilities as caring for a dog. Or a cat. Or any other animal.
Birds require daily cleaning, socialization, playtime, training, and, sometimes, medical care. The good news? Some bird species can make your life more enjoyable with their voice, given enough time, training, and attention.
NOTE: Many wonder if owning a bird is even moral, and the answer is yes if done right. Remember that birds aren’t toys; they’re individuals. And while some from a “talkative” species may never decide to speak, other non-talkative birds may learn a few words or phrases easily.
So, you shouldn’t only focus on the verbal abilities when adopting a bird. Instead, get a bird if you think you can give it a good home, and try to teach your pet how to speak as you go.
Lastly, ensure you have the time to care for a pet bird, as that’s one of the crucial things to consider before adopting a pet bird. Without any further ado, let’s explore some of the most popular talking birds.
Let’s start with Macaws! They’re big birds with even bigger personalities and some of the best pet birds. Without proper training, they might demand everything they want.
However, with consistent training, they can learn a decent vocabulary and make various sounds. Macaws need a lot of time for socialization and training.
Owners should be prepared for loud noises and some habitat destruction due to their chewing habits. Despite the challenges, their wonderful personalities can be rewarding for dedicated bird owners.
If you’re looking for a social bird, look no further than a Cockatoo.
They’re gorgeous, social birds that crave a lot of attention. In other words, they can be a bit clingy and noisy when they’re not happy.
But here’s the kicker. They can even pick up some words. Can parrots understand their words? The short answer is no. Still, they can learn them to get your attention.
Overall, cockatoos make a great choice for people with enough time, space, and energy for constant companionship.
They’re not a good fit for new bird parents, but their unmatched social interaction makes them special for those up for the commitment.
Eclectus parrots, sized 17–20 inches and weighing 13–19 ounces, need moderate care and socialization. They’re gentle birds and not the best choice for beginners, but they serve as a good step-up for intermediate bird owners.
If you have a male, training will be easier. Still, both genders need ample interaction and out-of-cage time. So, if you purchase or adopt one, read care tips for pet birds to ensure they get enough physical and mental exercise, proper diet, etc.
Over time, these parrots can pick up various words and phrases, and they’re generally less noisy compared to other parrots.
4. Quaker Parrot
Quaker parrots, also known as monk parakeets, make a great choice for beginners but check local regulations before getting one.
They’re small (11–12 inches, 3–5 ounces) and quick learners. The best part? They can live up to 30 years.
With a clearer voice than budgies, they can pick up 50 or more words and even mimic household sounds. Additionally, they’re social and enjoy human company.
5. Indian Ringneck Parakeet
Indian Ringneck Parakeets, slightly larger at 14–17 inches and 5 ounces, stand out for their ability to learn longer phrases and sentences.
They can mimic various sounds and have a clear and understandable tone. Some cultures revere them for mimicking daily prayers. While their knack for longer phrases requires more repetition, it also makes training a bit challenging.
They’re considered “advanced” beginner birds, not ideal as a first bird, and can be somewhat stubborn. Additionally, their significant noise levels make them unsuitable for apartment living or for those with low noise tolerance.
The budgie, also called the parakeet, is a small but clever bird. So, if you’re looking for a social bird with a surprisingly large vocabulary, look no further than a budgie.
Despite being only 6–8 inches long and weighing about an ounce, these birds can learn phrases and even sing.
Their voices may sound a bit garbled, but their enthusiasm and diverse vocabulary make up for it. To boost their skills, consider getting a very young bird from a rescue or a reputable local breeder who hand raises their birds.
Lastly, they’re not too loud, making them content in a large cage when the family is away. Still, we suggest exploring environment enrichment ideas for birds to keep them entertained when alone in the home.
7. African Grey
The African grey parrot is the most intelligent talking parrot and one of the most popular pet birds. With the ability to learn over 1,000 words, they’re as smart as a 2–3-year-old toddler.
While they can mimic sounds, their intelligence can lead to mischief, like destroying things around the house. They can also be moody and deliver painful bites.
African greys make good pets for those with extensive bird experience, patience, and time for socialization and training.
Unfortunately, they often change owners, experiencing multiple homes in a short time. Those who can handle their “attitude” may enjoy up to 80 years of comical mimicry and entertainment.
Most parrots make great pets, including cockatiels, because they’re friendly, easy to care for, and enjoy being with people. With some training, they can even learn to talk a bit.
If you want a talkative bird, go for a male cockatiel. They’re a bit bigger than budgies and live longer, around 10–14 years.
Cockatiels make fantastic beginner birds, providing years of friendly companionship.
9. Yellow-Naped Amazon
The yellow-naped Amazon is known as the best talker among Amazon birds.
They have huge vocabularies, can create sentences, and understand conversations like they’re part of them. These fairly large birds (15–27 inches, 16–23 ounces) can live up to 80 years. Intelligent and social, they communicate well and sing with a clear, pleasant voice.
However, they’re not for everyone, as Amazons, in general, can be moody and switch from pleasant to biting quickly. Understanding parrot body language is crucial to avoid painful bites, especially from males during the breeding season.
Their “attitude” makes them ideal for more experienced bird owners.
10. Myna Bird
Myna birds love making various sounds, including words. They’re small, smart, and can learn about 100 words and other noises.
While they aren’t solitary birds and like people, they don’t enjoy cuddling or tricks; they prefer doing their own thing. Additionally, mynas don’t mind cages, but their fruit-based diet means their poop needs extra attention.
Note: Don’t worry about nutritional disorders, as they’re one of the most common health issues in birds. With the proper care and a fruit-heavy diet, you can enjoy up to 25 years of companionship with these special birds.
Best Talking Birds: Conclusion
In a nutshell, pet birds that can talk seem intriguing and amusing. However, before adopting one, we suggest doing your research because it’s still a long-term event with the same responsibilities as getting a dog.
The rewards of owning a talking bird include years of unconditional love and friendship, whether your new pet bird turns out to be a talker or not.
Lastly, choose your new pet carefully, as some can produce noises that can annoy your neighbors, while others remain quieter.