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Talking Parrots

If you’d like to teach your parrot to talk, but aren’t quite sure of the best way to go about it, here are a few tips from an article in issue 94 by Jane Grimshaw, which will point you in the right direction.  

‘The best way to begin teaching your parrot to talk is to start off with simple words, like ‘hello’ or ‘good morning’ when you first greet your bird at the beginning of the day, and ‘goodbye’ when you go out.  Holding the bird in front of your mouth will help to ensure you have its full attention.

Repeating words or phrases which you want your bird to learn, and using word association as much as possible, will help to enforce your bird’s learning.  The more time you can spend with it the better.

It is thought that parrots more often imitate a female voice than a male voice, so it will probably be more effective if you try to use a higher pitch in your voice.  Playing recordings of words you are trying to teach, for short periods of time, may help too, but if overused can lead to a very bored parrot!

Parrots often start muttering and trying out their new words quietly to themselves before talking out loud.  If your bird starts doing this it could be a sign that talking is imminent.  Remember that birds also talk with their feathers; smooth feathers indicate that your bird is relaxed, and when they are frightened, they puff themselves up.

When your bird does repeat any words you have taught it, reward it immediately with one of their favourite healthy treats.  Always remember that continued patience and encouragement is the vital key to getting your bird to talk.  It may take some time, but be warned, once your bird starts talking you will probably find it is impossible to keep it quiet!’

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