Some birds call family members and other pets by name, while others can even bark and meow. What can yours do?
In the wild, birds are social creatures with the ability to learn to communicate with members of their flock. As companion pets, they naturally see us as part of their social group and want to interact and communicate with us. Young birds learn their own language the exact same way your parents taught you how to talk – and much like human children, your feathered friend will begin by making unintelligible noises and gradually develop a broader range of sounds and words.
Bonding Comes First
Getting to know your bird is the first step. When your bird trusts and bonds with you, it is more likely to respond. Spend lots of time interacting, talking to and playing with it to foster that relationship and affection. It is also important that you form reasonable expectations of what you want your pet bird to learn. After all, not all bird species can talk, and those that can, may choose not to. Do some research beforehand to determine if your bird has the potential to do well in this field.
Start a Vocabulary List
It is important to choose the words wisely. The easiest way is to select a few short words to begin with, such as ‘hello’, ‘bye-bye’, or even your pet bird’s own name. Repeat the words that you’ve selected and watch for its reaction; Some words will catch its attention more than others, and the one that gets the biggest response should be the first word you begin training with.
Repeat, Repeat, Repeat
Now that you’ve zoned in on a word that your bird is interested in, repeat the word to it as often as possible. Birds often mimic through repetition, so the more it hears the word, the more quickly it will pick it up and repeat it back to you.
Love and Patience
Setting up a training routine and working with your pet bird every day is the fastest way to teach it to talk. However, there is no guarantee, as some birds may take months or even years to say their first word, perhaps even when you least expect it. Do pay attention to any and all the vocalizations that your bird makes throughout the day.
When all is said and done, even if your feathered friend does not ever say a single word, don’t be too disappointed. All the time and effort spent training has already resulted in lots of interaction and socializing time, all of which will help to strengthen the bond between you and your lovable, intelligent and special pet!