It's no secret that talking birds are very popular pets. Many bird owners first got into aviculture after seeing (or hearing) a parrot speak or sing to them.
While they can be affectionate companions, not all talking birds are ideal pets. Most require a lot of socialization and need to interact with their owners regularly to avoid becoming bored or depressed. And during adolescence, most parrots go through a phase called bluffing where they can be aggressive. Their behavior during this... phase, which includes biting and lunging, may make them unsuitable for homes with children.
Here are the top five most popular talking birds and what they are like as pets.
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African Grey Parrots
One of the more famous talking parrots, the African Grey Parrot is considered the most intelligent of all the parrot species, with some amassing vocabularies of up to 1,000 words. There's some research suggesting that these parrots can use the words they learn in context to have simple conversations, but that doesn't necessarily mean they understand a word's meaning.
In any case, this kind of talking takes years of patient training and practice. But if you're really into the idea... of having a talking bird, the African Gray Parrot is the king of the roost.
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Amazon Parrots speak with exceptional clarity and generally have very sweet and pleasant speaking voices.
Amazon Parrots are highly adept talkers, ranking among the most chatty in the bird world. It's worth noting that talking birds don't learn human speech in the wild; it's believed that when in captivity, the birds' innate need to socialize is what draws them to mimic humans.
There are several varieties of Amazon Parrots, most of which are colorful, spirited birds. They're... not going to be quiet, docile pets, so if that's what you're looking for, this is not the bird for you. And they'll require a lot of social interaction, and the larger varieties need time outside the cage to exercise every day.
Most long-time owners of Amazon Parrots consider the birds worth the time investment. These are affectionate creatures who form deep bonds with their owners.
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Although they often get overlooked, one of the best talkers in the bird world is the common parakeet or budgie. While their voices tend to be a bit gruff and gravelly, budgies are capable of learning several words and phrases and many enjoy speaking to their owners on a daily basis.
When training a budgie (or any type of bird) to talk, consistency and patience are key. Start slowly with simple words and phrases, and then build to more complex speech patterns. Many budgie owners have been very... surprised at the words that their little feathered friends have been able to pick up.
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Indian Ringneck Parakeets
Indian Ringneck Parakeets are highly intelligent birds that are able to learn a long list of words. Like some of the more talkative parrot varieties, Indian Ringneck Parakeets seem to have a gift for learning longer phrases and sentences as well as short words and terms. If you are interested in a bird that is able to recite longer bits of text rather than one- or two-word phrases, this may be the pet for you.Continue to 5 of 5 below.
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Quaker Parrots, also known as Monk Parakeets, are illegal in some parts of the United States, so be sure to check local laws if you are interested in adopting one. Quakers are adept talkers and seem to learn to pick up human speech quickly. Being such fast learners, they are popular among younger and less-experienced bird owners who want to own a talking bird that will give them quick results without years of training.