Ways & How

How to Teach a Bird to Talk - Step by Step Tutorial

How to Teach a Bird to Talk - Step by Step Tutorial

Can any bird learn to talk? The obvious answer is, “No.” If your goal is to teach a bird to talk, it is best to choose a species of bird that is inclined to learn speech patterns. These types include: parakeets (budgies), cockatiels, African Greys, Amazons, or Quaker parrots. Parakeets are the smallest member of the parrot family. They are colorful and energetic. Because they can be trained easily, parakeets can learn hundreds of words or phrases. They have even been known to whistle or sing a song. Special Considerations

  1. A healthy, tame parakeet will be the most likely to learn to speak. The following considerations should be taken:

  2. Male parakeets normally speak more readily than females.

  3. Your bird must feel safe and loved.

  4. Provide your bird with fresh water and food daily.

  5. Clean the cage daily.

  6. Periodically clean or replace the perches.


  7. Protect your parakeet from being harmed by other pets, such as a cat or a dog.

  8. Interact with your bird constantly. Shower it with attention.

  9. Keep your parakeet alone. If a parakeet is housed with another bird, it will pay more attention to the other bird than to the person who is training it to speak.

Steps to Teach a Bird to Talk
  1. Encourage your parakeet to communicate with you. Follow these helpful tips:

  2. Begin speaking to your bird before you uncover its cage each morning. This will give your parakeet the optimum setting in which to focus on your voice.

  3. When working with your bird during the day, cover three sides of the cage. This will deter distractions. Also, keep your television and radio shut off when you are teaching the parakeet.

  4. Teach your bird a single word first. This may be its name or a simple word such as “cutie.”

  5. Speak the word aloud each time you feed the bird, clean the cage, or walk by the cage. This is important, since a parakeet learns by rote.

  6. It is important to note that parakeets find certain sounds easier to say. These include the sounds of the consonants b, d, k, p, and t.

  7. Speak clearly and slowly because a parakeet will speak syllables more quickly than a human.

  8. Remain patient and persistent. Do not begin teaching additional words until your parakeet masters the sound you have already introduced.

  9. Immediately reward your bird when it repeats the sound you have asked it to produce. Do this verbally (“Good birdie”) or with a treat. A good treat is a millet spray because it contains a mature seed, which is easy for a bird to husk.

  10. Establish a routine regimen with your bird. For example, say “Night, night” each evening when you go to bed. Birds love consistency.

  11. Do not allow anyone to speak offensive words near your parakeet. If you do, you may regretfully hear your bird repeat them.

Parakeets are entirely mimicking your speech when they talk. They do not understand what they are actually saying, but they are merely repeating the sounds of their “human” flock in order to fit into the group. If they repeat a word learned from a man, their voice inflection will contain a deep tone. A word learned from a child will sound like a child’s speech. Teaching a bird to talk is a rewarding activity. It does require patience and lots of repetition, but the commitment eventually produces the pleasure of hearing your bird mimic the words and sounds you have taught him. This activity is not just “for the birds.” You are made happier through the experience too!


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