If you have a female cockatiel or budgie/parakeet, it’s very unlikely your pet bird will talk at all.
Here are some ideas about teaching your pet bird to talk.
1. Will your pet bird learn to talk?
A pet bird is most likely to talk if it is a naturally vocal species, and it is still young. Furthermore, your pet bird is most likely to talk if you are a verbal person or verbal family. Finally, if your pet bird already talks or mimics sounds, then you have a good chance of teaching it words.
Some of the species of pet birds that talk readily include the Congo African grey parrots and Timneh African grey parrots, double yellow-headed Amazon parrots and yellow-naped Amazon parrots, Eclectus parrots and Indian ring-necked parakeets. Of the macaws, the blue-and-gold macaw talks most readily. Among cockatoos, the bare-eyed and rose-breasted are often talkative.
Lories are great talkers, if you can supply them with their nectar diet. The African Poicephalus parrots, like the Senegal and Meyer’s, can learn to talk, though their voices are not easy to understand. The same is true of the Pionus parrots, of which the Maximillian’s Pionus talks most clearly. I have known caiques that talked well. Some of the grass parakeets can talk, and the male budgie can learn literally hundreds of words. Male cockatiels can learn a few words, especially while they are still young.
Any of these parrots may talk, or they may not talk at all. I have known practically silent greys and sometimes pet sit for a Moluccan cockatoo that is unusually verbal. With our parrots, talking ability is a bonus not a given. It’s worth working with your pet bird on its talking ability. Keep in mind that even a non-talking pet bird can communicate and can understand your words.
Your pet bird may learn to talk. It is most likely to learn to talk from you. Studies done in the ’90s on wild bird vocalizations showed that young birds learned a flock language from other birds after they left the nest. In our homes, we become a pet bird’s flock, and the vocalizations it learns might therefore include our language, just as it would learn a flock language in the wild.
Social interaction is required for a pet bird to learn to talk. You won’t have much success just leaving media playing with repeated phrases. Your pet bird will learn words you say to it, especially if the words involve food, a bath, your presence or are said enthusiastically.
2. How do you get a pet bird to start a new word/phrase if it constantly says the same thing over and over?
You can promote the ᴇxᴛɪɴᴄᴛion of the worn-out phrase by not reacting to it. Don’t look at the pet bird, respond verbally to it or repeat the phrase. Try to add a word by responding with a new word every time your pet bird says the old one. You could start whispering another word, which many pet birds find rather irresistible, or you could start a duet with your pet bird. Birds are musical and duet in the wild. Let your pet bird take one part, and sing another word till it gets into the repertoire.
And once again, naming things for your pet bird is a good way to add a word to its vocabulary.
3. Are certain times of the day better to work with a pet bird on its vocabulary? (Is the morning better than the afternoon?)
It’s fine to work with your pet bird any time of day, and several times a day as a matter of fact. Get in the habit of talking to your pet bird as though it’s a young child. Talk about what is going on and what you’re doing, and especially talk about things that interest your pet bird.
4. Speak Eagerly
If you have been a parrot owner then you must be aware that parrots tend to enjoy picking up bad words or anything ʀᴜᴅᴇ which has been said with a force. You can use this as an advantage. Say the words that you want your parrot to learn loud and clear. And you will realize that your bird will more likely to pick up phrases and exciting words.
5. Reward When It Tries To Say Something
When you hear your parrot say something that sounds like the word you want it to learn then you should reward it with a treat. Repeat the word along with your parrot so that he can speak it more clearly next time. Every time your parrot speaks a word, reward it with a treat and you will notice that it will speak clearly and better.