Talking birds are excellent companions. With the correct training, they can provide hours of entertainment. While parrots are the most famous talking species, many birds can mimic humans. Teaching pet birds to talk takes time and patience. Sometimes, even with training, a bird may be unable to speak. So, for the best chances of teaching them words, you must choose a talking species. If you want to discover the best talkers, take a look at my list of the top 5 talking pet birds below.
5 - African Gray Parrot
Size: 9 - 14 inches
Weight: 11 - 19 ounces
Origin: Central Africa
Lifespan: 35 - 50 years
The African Gray is the first entry on our list of the best talking pet birds. Parrots are famous for their ability to mimic humans, but the African Gray comes top of the class. These beautiful steel gray birds are super intelligent and can learn hundreds of words, count, tell jokes and seemingly have conversations. As well as being the best talking parrot species, they are also the largest African parrot. Unfortunately, they are an endangered bird species - because of habitat loss and poaching.
According to scientific studies, the cognitive and communicative abilities of Gray parrots are similar to a toddler, so they need lots of mental stimulation. Unless you’re willing to invest time and effort into training, interacting and environment enrichment, they’re not the best choice for beginners. In the wrong environment, African Gray Parrots will get bored and become naughty, destructive and uncooperative. That said, these birds form a strong bond with their owners. With the correct care, they are loyal and affectionate companions.
4 - Amazon Parrot
Size: 15 - 17 inches
Weight: 16 - 23 ounces
Origin: Amazon Basin, South America, Mexico and the Caribbean.
Lifespan: 30 - 60 years
Amazon parrots are incredibly talkative and are famous for their beautifully clear voice. They are fantastic pets because they adapt well to captivity, and there are over thirty different species. The most popular pet ones are the double yellow-headed and yellow-napped. Most species have beautifully vibrant and distinctive green feathers, often paired with bright colors and markings around their head and tail.
The Amazon parrot is sociable and forms a deep bond with their keeper. They are intelligent, quick learners and love playing and being active. But, they can be bossy and aggressive if they don't have enough mental stimulation, and you must invest a lot of time with them. These birds are highly entertaining - they like being the center of attention and showing off, so they can be noisy.
In the wild, Amazon parrots fly long distances at a high altitude and are incredibly hardy. They thrive on fruit, nuts and seeds and have a powerful beak to open shells, so they need toys to chew on. Although the average lifespan is 30 - 60 years - some can live up to 80.
3 - Budgerigar
Size: 6 - 8 inches
Weight: 1 ounces
Lifespan: 5 - 8 years
The next entry on our list is the humble Budgerigar - also called a Budgie or Parakeet. These little guys are one of the most popular pet birds, excellent talkers, and can learn hundreds of words and phrases. The World Record holder for the largest vocabulary of a bird is a budgie named Puck from California. He knew a mind-blowing 1728 words.
Budgies come in many striking colors and may be small, but they are intelligent and friendly - and most love interacting with humans. They’re ideal for beginners because they’re incredibly gentle and easy to keep. The only thing is, Budgies are tougher to train than most talking birds. They have a raspy voice and sometimes talk nonsense. But with intensive training, they can recite many words and phrases and sing beautifully.
2 - Indian Ringneck Parakeet
Size:14 - 17 inches
Weight: 4 ounces
Origin: India and Pakistan
Lifespan: 20 - 30 years
The Indian Ringneck Parakeet is a stunning green bird with a red beak and black collar. They are exceptional talkers with a clear voice and are experts at reciting long phrases and mimicking sounds. Ringneck Parakeets are sacred in some cultures because the ones living around places of worship often recite prayers.
Indian Ringneck Parakeets are outgoing, intelligent birds and need lots of mental stimulation, training and human interaction. Without training, they will become rebellious, destructive and sometimes aggressive. They are friendly creatures but can be cheeky and bossy in novice hands, so they aren’t the best talking birds for beginners. Ringneck Parakeets are also noisy, so you should choose a quieter bird if you live in an apartment.
1 - Myna Bird
Size: 23 - 26 inches
Weight: 4 - 5 ounces
Origin: Africa and Asia
Lifespan: 12 - 25 years
Myna birds are one of the most renowned talking birds and are part of the starling family. Their name comes from the word Maina in Hindu, which means messenger of God. These birds are so good at mimicking people that, in some cultures, they believe Mynas are reincarnated humans.
There are many Myna species, but the Hill and Common Myna are the most popular, and the Hill is generally the most talkative. These small, pretty birds are elegant with dark feathers and slender yellow legs and feet. They are excellent companions because they adapt well to captivity and perfectly mimic many words and sounds. They have a clear voice and are experts at mimicking pitch and tone.
Mynas are bold, intelligent, outgoing birds that love socializing and performing for their keepers. Though they enjoy human company, they are incredibly independent and, generally, don't enjoy handling. These chatty birds are omnivores and eat almost anything but thrive on a fruit diet. When it comes to caring for pet birds, they are one of the most high-maintenance talking birds, so they aren’t suitable for beginners.