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How to Teach Your Pet Bird to Talk

November 1, 2015

Do you have a pet bird? Birds have many wonderful charms that make them great pets. Polly is cute, intelligent, and curious, and can brighten up a home with her vocalizations. When it comes to talking and singing, some of our feathered friends are quite chatty. Birds can learn hundreds of words. In fact, one record-breaking bird knew nearly 1000 different words! If you want to teach your winged pal how to talk, read this article from a Niagara Falls, ON vet.


Polly’s breed will play a large role in her capacity for speech. Some of the more talkative bird species include African grey parrots, Amazon parrots, and Eclectus parrots. Certain types of Macaw, such as the blue and gold Macaw, are also quite talkative. Cockatoos, parakeets, corvids, and songbirds can also be chatty. Of course, even if your pet’s breed is capable of speech, there are no guarantees that your feathered pal will learn to talk. Individual personality, training history, and temperament are also factors.

Getting Started

Birds often easily learn to associate words with some of their favorite things. When you give your feathered pal a treat, name the snack out loud. For instance, say ‘banana’ when you give Polly a piece of banana, and say ‘apple’ when you feed her an apple slice. Your bird may react, even if she doesn’t talk back. If Polly starts responding by making noise, reward her and give her the treat right away. Another way to help your little buddy pick up words is to describe your actions or habits. Say ‘Hello’ when greeting your pet, and ‘Goodnight’ at bedtime. Use the same phrasing each time.


Some of our feathered friends have pretty foul mouths! If your winged pal can talk, be careful about swearing around her. Your bird’s cursing may be funny at first, but teaching your bird to swear can backfire in many ways … especially if you have young children or have to call your boss! If Polly accidentally picks up a few naughty words, stop using those words around her. In time, she may forget them.

Do you have questions about your bird’s health or care? Contact us, your Niagara Falls, ON vet clinic, anytime. And if you ever teach your feathered pet to say ‘Heartland Niagara Veterinary Hospital’ or ‘Polly go to doctor?’ definitely let us know!

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