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How to Teach Your Bird to Speak

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As a Bird owner, or one that is about to be one, I'm sure you love your feathery companion. Do you know what makes your companion even more lovable?! When you are able to communicate with them directly. That is why today we will be showing you How to Teach Your Bird to Speak.

First, you need to begin by learning about your bird. Not all birds can or will talk. That is why the first thing you should do is find out more about your bird. There isn't much point trying to teach your feathery companion to talk if it's just going to whistle back at you. Some of the bird species that can learn the ability to speak include:

  • Budgerigar
  • Monk Parakeet
  • Amazonian Parrots
  • Indian Ringneck
  • Quaker Parrot
  • Eclectus
  • Hill Myna
  • African Grey
  • Cockatiel
  • Cockatoo

Next, you must try to build a strong relationship with your bird by socializing with them for a decent amount of time a day. These feathered companions of ours are social animals and without the right amount of time and attention they could end up never speaking. When you start these small social sessions, time yourself. You have to create a schedule in which you have small training sessions, about 5 minutes each, where you talk to your bird in different tones, repeating the same words depending on how fast he/she learns them. 

After you have gotten the schedule down, you need to start the real training. Begin by using very simple words such as, "Hello" or "Bye-Bye". Starting off with big sentences can be catastrophic, so make sure you start with the basics! Hold your bird right in front of your mouth, while you speak these words. It helps keep your birds attention, and engages him/her with you. Make sure to never settle for less. If your bird learns the words quickly, keep raising the bar for them.

Including a relative or friend is essential in helping your bird to learn how to speak. Experiments involving the African Grey Parrot, Show that birds learn better when two people are around. This is called the rival/model method. Both you and your friend or relative speak to each other but keep your bird in between the conversation. This will frustrate your bird, being the social animals they are, he/she will try to get involved. Thus, repeating many of the words you and your friend just said in the conversation.

Another great way to help your bird learn, is to associate movements and hand gestures with certain words. Such as "Up" with a sway of your hand upwards. Just like any other animal, when your bird accomplishes his/her first words or finally gets that one word you two have been stuck on for so long, treats should be given. (Make sure this is only when your bird accomplishes something! Or else they will associate a wrong act with the giving of a treat.) If you want your bird learning from a recording, play the recording for up to five minutes a day, and in no time you wont need the recording any longer.

Make sure to be patient. The learning capacity of a bird, varies from species to species and from bird to bird. Some may take months, others may take years. Just make sure to respect your feathered companions, and give them some time to express themselves. They will be sure to return the respect.

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