Teaching Parrots to Speak – as part of the expert series by GeoBeats.
Well, if you are getting a bird for the reason of talking, only, do not get a bird because they come with a lot of responsibility and they live a long, long time. But, one of the best ways to teach a bird to talk is to actually have a rival. I am, I am Spaulding’s favorite person. Step up, good girl. So, she does not tend to imitate me. She imitates my husband because when he calls my name, I respond. So, you want to use a rival technique, where you would have, say, myself, the bird, and the rival person. I do not want to say not liked person, but not the favorite person. And then, you talk to the non favorite person and reward that, and the bird watches and will usually imitate, although, I do believe that it is not always imitation, but they will then turn to imitate that.
Another way to help learn, with Grays, you know, they are so well-known. Congo African Grays are so well-known for their talking ability, but I’ve come across several that do not talk at all. So, just because you get an African Gray does not guarantee talking ability. Cockatoos are really great and easy to talk, although their vocabulary is more limited, because if you just get real excited with your voice they tend to pick it up. The same with the Amazons. So, with like a Cockatoo, or a Macaw, or an Amazon, a lot of it comes from the fact that it is the excitement in your voice. So, the more excited you are to see them, the more excited you get them, the more they are apt to repeat your words.
Tuki is very relaxed right now, but let us see if we can get him to not… Well, I still want him relaxed, but… Tuki, step up. Good boy. Can you say hi? Hi. Who is such a good boy. Step up. Hi, Tuk. Hi. Hi, Tuk. You want to step down? Good boy. Hi. Hi, Tuk. Are you such a good boy? You want to… You are a good bird. You want a scratch scratch? Only one wing. Scratch, scratch. Basically, I am labeling everything I do so that he talks what he wants to me. Like, for instance, instead of doing a constant scream at night time, he gives me a heads up, and he yells, “Mom, time for bed.” I would go in when it was about bedtime and I had get real excited with him, and say, “Is it time for bed? Is it time for bed?” Now, instead of screaming altogether, he will say, “Mom, it is time for bed.” So, with them, it is really a matter of using a lot of excitement in your voice Hi, Tuk. Playing with a toy? Hi, Tuk. Hi, Tuki bird. Hi. Who is a good bird? Who is such a good bird? Who is? You are a pretty boy, such a pretty boy.
Talk to them almost, I do not want to say baby talk, but like you would a small child and they pick up on it. Want to do a trick. Tuki? No, no wings. Step up. Come on. Step up onto mommy’s hand. Up. Good boy. Another thing, I know this is not… Oh, he knows what we are going to do. This is not really talking, but take natural behaviors and trick train. Cockatoos a lot of times love to lay on their backs to snuggle, so you can do. Are you ready? Hi. Are you ready? Bang. Yeah. And he gets all excited. Hi. Bang. Oh, good boy, good boy. Hi. So, the more excited you get them, the more they tend to talk.