As a bird lover, one of the joys of owning a parrot is the opportunity to train it how to talk and have succeeded in doing it. But, everyone knows that it takes time, effort, and patience to do it. And, if you happen to own a parakeet (one of the species of parrots), you may be asking ‘do parakeets talk, too, just like its bigger parrot cousins’?
Yes, parakeets can talk human words if patiently trained by its owners. If you are one of those who aim to teach this intelligent bird how to speak, then this article will interest you. We will provide you with proven steps on how you can make your parakeets talk so you and your avian friend can soon have a ‘lovely conversation’.
Why Do Parakeets Talk So Much?
Parakeets are considered to be one of the vocal birds among the parrot family. You’d hear it mimic sounds, tweeting, and other bird talks. But, why do they talk too much?
Like all parrots, parakeets are social animals. In the wild, parrots live in large flocks and spend time together searching for food, searching for nest sites, finding a partner, and caring for their offspring. They also communicate a great deal with one another. Parrots make bird sounds because those are the sounds they hear around them.
When in captivity, parakeets form a bond with their human families and try to communicate with them as if they were also parakeets. As social creatures, they have the desire to fit into a group and what a better way to achieve that than by learning the language, right?
Can parakeets talk? Yes, and in your pet’s mind, one of the ways for it to be accepted and be provided with its daily needs is by being able to talk to you.
Parakeets learn some of the human languages because of their exposure to them.
They talk when they are happy, discontent, bored, and when attempting to seek your attention. At times, talking can get too much because that is their natural behavior in the wild.
Two Important Things to Remember When Teaching Parakeets to Talk
The first thing to remember is to build a trusting relationship. Do not expect your avian friend to respond to your vocabulary lessons if you scare it all the time or you ignore it all day long.
If you hear your parakeet making noises, it signals that it is a happy bird that may be telling you “come play with me and teach me your language”. Making noises is your parrot’s first attempt in speaking your language.
A young parakeet will make vocalizations that are similar to the sounds it hears in its attempt to catch your attention and to fit into your world. If you continually praise your avian friend, the more it will be encouraged to learn how to speak which is the second thing to remember when teaching parakeets to talk.
At What Age Can Parakeets Talk?
There is no definite answer as each bird is different. Some may begin talking at three months while some at a later time, at twelve months. The trick is to train it to talk as early as possible.
But, after it has learned to utter a word correctly, it usually takes a shorter time for it to learn the next words and phrases that you will teach it.
Steps in Training Your Parakeet to Talk
1. Limit the Number of Your Parakeets
The first step is to avoid buying too many birds. This is to allow them to focus on learning their communication skills from you and its few bird companions.
We recommend that you get one to three parakeets only so they will form a bond with you.
But, if you prefer to care for one bird only, a mirror will encourage the bird to communicate with its mirrored self. This is done to develop your parakeet’s chirping language.
2. Select the ‘Right’ Parakeet
Though the sex and the species have nothing to do with learning, these physical characteristics have something to do with your bird’s ability to learn words much faster. Listed below are the three factors that can directly affect the issue on can parakeets talk:
- A male parakeet has a higher chance of learning faster and successfully of the words you train it.
- Training your parakeet to talk while it is still young is recommended.
- You may be tempted to buy the less expensive bird but do not expect it to learn your language in a snap. There is a reason why some parakeet species are more expensive than the others, and one of those is the level of verbal trainability. Examples are the Indian Ringneck and Alexandrine parakeets.
3. Make the Bird Comfortable With You
We know that environment has a huge effect on learning. The same principle applies to your avian friend. That being said, be sure that it is comfortable in its cage that is large enough for it to spread its wings.
Feed your parakeet well and always provide it with drinking water so it will remain smart and healthy.
Spend time with your parakeet and talk to it calmly. The idea is for the bird to gain its trust and confidence in you. If, it seems like it is scared or ignoring you, do not force the issue. Do it slowly, lest you will only make it impossible for the bird to bond with you.
Can parakeets talk? Yes, and once it already considers you a friend, it would be easier to train it how to talk. Parakeets can imitate human sounds, it is just a question of motivation. If you are considered a friend, there is a strong motivation for the bird to learn your language because it wants to communicate with you.
4. The Right Time for Training
The best time to train your bird how to talk is in the morning. You shouldn’t conduct training sessions when your bird is tired or distracted. Be sure that it has its full attention on you.
5. Speak Slowly
When your bird is ready, slowly say the word. By doing so, there is a high probability that your parakeet will be able to pick up the sound and the tone of the word correctly. Repeat saying the same word over and over again.
Birds are better with consonants like the letters b,d,k,p,t. Initially, avoid teaching your avian friend short phrases like ‘how are you?” as it may be too difficult for it to comprehend. How can parakeets talk? Begin by teaching it simple words like bye-bye before you proceed to the more complicated human words and phrases.
Be patient with the process as you cannot expect it to learn to utter the word in one seating.
6. Gift With a Reward
If you are satisfied with the ‘grade’ of your parakeet, don’t you think rewarding it is a good idea? Doing so will encourage it to do well again in the next training sessions.
Give it with millet sprays, a few slices of carrots and celery.
7. Teach More Words
The only time you can move on with the next word of even more complicated phrases is when your avian pet has mastered the current lesson. If it can utter the word three times in a row correctly, then it’s time to teach another word or phrase.
8. Include Your Parakeet in Your Daily Conversation
As your parrot begins to speak your language, you can hone its vocabulary to the next level by talking to it every single day. When you wake-up in the morning, say ‘good morning’ to it. Ask if it is hungry. When you are about to leave, say goodbye or see you later.
In time, your parakeet will eventually learn to say the words and phrases that you often use.
How to Train a Parakeet to Say Names of Objects?
Once your parakeet has mastered the art of talking, did you know you can also teach it to recognize an object and say what that object is?
How to do it? Hold an object, say, a pen, and show it to your parakeet. Say the name of the object repeatedly while showing the object. Do this process several times a day until the bird learns to recognize the object and utter the corresponding word.
For advanced training sessions, you may also teach your parakeet to recognize people and say their names.
Other Tips on How to Train Your Parakeet to Talk:
As in any form of learning, distraction is the greatest enemy. What you can do is to cover the three sides of its cage with a cloth. Stand in front of your parakeet so it knows that both of you are having a conversation.
Length of Training Sessions
Do not get too excited about the training sessions. Our advice is to limit it to 30 minutes per day so as not to stress or bore your parakeet.
What Are the Best Talking Parakeet Species?
As we said earlier in the article, not all parakeets are the same. Some learn faster than others. If you have not yet made up your mind which parakeet species to pick, then allow us to give you a shortlist of the more intelligent parakeet species:
Indian Ringneck Parakeet
Also known by the name of the Rose-ringed parakeet, these birds are real talkers and can speak longer phrases. They are also known to utter dozens to hundred words with clarity. Not only that, if you have the knack for teaching tricks, then you should get this highly intelligent parakeet specie.
Known for their talking with clarity, the Alexandrines are capable of learning more words than one. Once they have mastered the art of talking, you just can’t shut them up. In short, they are loud and noisy parakeets.
On average, they learn to begin talking by one year of age but some start early at 8 months. If you choose this parakeet specie, you can train it to imitate ringing sounds, deep and loud ‘klak sounds’, and more.
Australian Budgerigar or Budgie
Can budgies talk? A smaller parakeet specie that can speak a thousand words, yes, budgies are talkers, too. They are popular for learning how to say words and phrases as well as how to whistle quite easily.
The males talk better but the females can also be trained to speak a few words, and of course, how to whistle!
Do Parakeets Like Music?
Not only do parakeets talk but they are said to be fond of music, too.
Since they are not entirely fond of a quiet environment, music helps in maintaining the parakeets’ well-being. In the wild, a quiet surrounding indicates danger. If there is a predator nearby, parrots keep quiet so as not to be detected.
Thus, in captivity, a long period of silence can make your parakeet feel anxious. To prevent that from happening, background music does the trick. This is especially true if you only have one parakeet.
Just avoid playing extremely loud music as this can cause anxiety and stress to your parakeet.
The playlist for your parakeet should be calm, nature-inspired sounds, and instrumentals. It may also like the beat of modern pop songs.
How do you know your parakeet is enjoying the music?
You would know if your avian friend is happy if you hear it mimic the words, sing along, and may even move around (like dancing) and whistle.
Do parakeets talk? Amazingly, yes, these beautiful avian pets can make your home more enjoyable as they add colors and wonderful sound to your surroundings.
When training your parakeet to speak, patience goes a long, long way. And, do not forget the magic word, which is repetition. Do not expect your pet to learn your language right away. In time, your parakeet can talk as a sign of love and attentiveness to you.