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Encouraging parrots to talk, part two

Spreads for web 2

by Sally Blanchard

Of course, African Greys have the reputation for being the best talking parrots, especially in regards to using words and phrases appropriately. This is probably true, although I know of some individuals of many other species of parrots that are better talkers than many of the Greys I have met. I have read that the African Grey parrot actually has more convolutions in its brain than other species of parrots. Whether this is true or not, when they start talking - watch out! Greys may learn almost anything that is said with enthusiasm and imitate any noise that intrigues them. Although they have a reputation for being quiet birds, some can be quite noisy as African Grey parrots are usually as noisy as their environment.

Watch what you say to an African Grey. While it may occasionally seem funny for Greys to use unacceptable language they pick up by accident, people who purposefully teach their Greys to use foul language will regret it. Words said with enthusiasm, especially words with hard consonants, are very easy for Greys to learn and it usually takes a great deal of knowledge, patience and consistency to ‘unteach’ them. The young bird imitates the sounds we make to gain acceptance in his ‘flock’ – us!

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