How Many Words Can Parrots Learn?

Do you have a parrot that you’re teaching to talk? If so, you might be wondering how many words they can learn.

While there’s no definitive answer, research suggests that parrots can learn a large vocabulary. Some parrots have even been observed using human words in context, showing that they understand their meaning.

So, if you’re teaching your parrot to talk, don’t limit their vocabulary. They may surprise you with just how many words they can


Parrots are intelligent creatures and are remarkable for the sheer number of words that they can learn. While each parrot’s capabilities will vary, some species can learn up to several hundred words. Parrots are very social birds, so it stands to reason that if your parrot is kept as a single pet in a home, then learning opportunities will increase along with the bird’s vocabulary.

Nowadays, technology is allowing us to measure the capabilities of these fascinating creatures in more detail than ever before. From measuring how quickly parrots acquire new words and phrases to determining their level of comprehension when given commands, researchers have made great strides in understanding how our feathered friends learn language.

In this article, we’ll discuss why and how parrots have developed their amazing ability to learn language, explore what types of words they can pick up on, discover how they communicate with their owners, and provide tips on teaching your bird a few choice words!

Parrot Intelligence

Parrots are some of the most intelligent birds in the animal kingdom and are known for their ability to mimic speech and other sounds. They have complex minds and can remember a variety of words, phrases and ideas. Parrots can even be taught a wide range of commands and tricks. Let’s take a look at their impressive intelligence and how many words they can learn.

What is Parrot Intelligence?

Parrot intelligence is the capacity for sophisticated communication, problem-solving and creativity demonstrated by some species of parrots, such as parrots from the Psittaciformes order. While not every parrot species exhibits this type of advanced cognitive prowess, some can possess extraordinary problem-solving skills and even learn over 100 human words or phrases.

To measure a bird’s problem-solving aptitude, researchers often use the Monty Hall Problem Challenge proposed by mathematician Steven Selvin in 1975. In this challenge, a bird must choose between three doors (A, B and C) behind which are different rewards (e.g., fruits or seeds). After the bird chooses a door, the experimenter opens another one and reveals an empty reward compartment (for example Door B), leaving two potential options: Stick with their original choice (Door A) or switch to the remaining closed door (Door C). Parrot intelligence has been studied for centuries with reports going as far back as Aristotle’s writings on quail’s capacity for learning complex tricks like rolling hoops and navigating mazes.

Parrots can not only think abstractly but can also recognize numbers and symbols in addition to shapes and colors. African Grey parrots have been observed counting up to six objects, sorting them into distinct groups according to size and shape or color even when those objects were presented in varying configurations each time. In addition to enjoying video games on iPads, ravens have been known to spontaneously learn songs solely by listening to recordings of them being played on loudspeakers – an ability that few other birds possess.

Commenting on what makes parrot intelligence so unique among all birds, Dr. Irene Pepperberg who studied Alex the African Grey Parrot stated that “studies show they can keep track of four variables simultaneously… they understand object permanence … much higher level research than has previously been done [on birds].” Parrots are amazing creatures armed with incredible cognitive abilities – proving that what might look like mere mimicry could actually be reflective of creative thinking with problem-solving capacities at par with those of young children or primates!

How Do Parrots Learn?

Parrots are one of the most intelligent bird species, and they have been known to mimic human speech. So, just how many words can parrots learn? It depends on a few different factors.

Parrot intelligence is genetic, and some breeds are known to be more intelligent than others. Generally speaking, African Greys, Macaws and Cockatoos are said to be the smartest; however all species can potentially learn a large number of words with training and patience.

For anyone looking to teach their parrot words or phrases, it’s important that the process is handled with consistency and dedication. Parrot owners should use consistent tones and positive reinforcement for any new word taught — such as offering a treat or giving lots of affection when the bird gets it correct. With repetition over time, it’s possible for a parrot to learn up to several hundred words or phrases; however the exact number will vary depending on the individual pet’s dedication and motivation.

Often times just having conversations around your parrot can prove helpful by exposing them to more words in an environment free from pressure — this helps their minds become comfortable with language in a natural manner so they can gradually pick up new sounds over time. Ultimately how many words your parrot learns comes down to how much effort you put into developing a bond with them while teaching by using these helpful tactics!

Types of Parrots

Parrots are some of the most intelligent birds in the world and have been known to be able to mimic human speech. There are many different types of parrots and they vary in size, color, and have different abilities when it comes to talking. This section will explore the different types of parrots and will discuss how many words they can learn.

African Grey Parrots

African Grey Parrots are renowned for their extraordinary ability to imitate human speech and are the most popular species of parrot kept as a companion animal. African Grey Parrots can recognize up to 2000 words, and their remarkable intelligence allows them to comprehend even complex concepts. They use an extensive vocabulary that includes names of people, toys, foods, and other objects in their human home.

It is common for African Grey Parrots to establish strong bonds with their owners, demonstrating loyalty and affection while displaying gratitude through mimicry and demands for attention. As with other parrot species, diet is important to maintaining good health; a nutritious diet high in essential vitamins and minerals must be provided. In addition to physical exercise through play time outside the cage, mental stimulation helps to ward off boredom when kept as pets. A variety of toys helps stimulate natural behavior while encouraging problem-solving abilities that African Grey Parrots possess in abundance.


Cockatoos are a family of medium-sized, colorful parrots. They are native to the tropics and subtropics of Australia and the Southeast Asian archipelago. Cockatoos have curved beaks, which makes them ideal for cracking nuts and tedious tasks like dismantling fruits and vegetables. They have excellent communication skills and can learn up to 300 words!

Their personalities are often described as affectionate and entertaining, which is why they are commonly kept as pets. There are 21 species of cockatoos, ranging in size from approximately 11 inches to 24 inches long, with some species capable of living up to 40 years old.

The most popular types of pet cockatoos include:
-Bare-eyed Cockatoo
-Umbrella Cockatoo
-Rose Breasted Cockatoo
-Goffin’s Cockatoo
-Citron Crested Cockatoo
-Moluccan Cockatoo
-Sulphur Crested Cockatoo

These birds can offer years of superb companionship when properly cared for and given love and attention on a daily basis.


Macaws are a type of parrot that are native to Central and South America. They comprise about 17 distinct species, all of which have distinctive, colorful feathers. Macaws generally range in size from about 1 foot (30 centimeters) to about 3 feet (91 centimeters) in length, with an average wingspan of around 4-5 feet (1.2-1.5 meters).

In terms of behavior and communication, macaws are incredibly intelligent and communicative creatures. While they may not be able to mimic as many words or phrases as other parrots such as African Grey Parrots and Cockatoos, macaws can still learn thousands of words and phrases, making them excellent companions in the pet trade.

As far as coloration goes, macaws often possess a combination of vibrant greens on the body along with bold blue head crest feathers and red cheeks or eyes. Depending on the species of macaw present, more vibrant blues, yellows or oranges may also be present on the wings, chest or head region – further adding to their allure as one of nature’s most beautiful feathered creatures!

How Many Words Can Parrots Learn?

Parrots are highly intelligent and capable of learning a wide range of words. Studies have suggested that domestic parrots, such as lovebirds, African greys, and macaws, can learn between 50 to 100 words. Wild parrots, like Amazon parrots, are also capable of learning an impressive amount of words. In this article, we will explore the fascinating world of parrot communication and language, and how many words parrots can potentially learn.

African Grey Parrots

African Grey Parrots are often considered to be one of the best talking parrot species due to their ability to learn a wide variety of words, sounds and even phrases.

African Greys can develop an extensive vocabulary, with reports of some parrots having learned hundreds of words! These birds can memorize shapes, names and colors. They also have an impressive understanding of order and some basic mathematical skills. Research has shown that most African Grey Parrots are able to recognize people by name as well as differentiate between their owners’ requests for actions or activities.

The African Grey Parrot is able to remember words for very long periods and can recall them from memory when prompted. They have excellent communication skills, often interacting intelligently with humans by responding appropriately to certain commands or inquiries. For example, if you ask an African Grey who you are it will usually answer with your name or nickname!

With such an impressive linguistic ability, it is unsurprising that the African Grey is a popular pet amongst bird enthusiasts worldwide. The success of training really does rely on the amount of attention given. So make sure you spend plenty of time giving your feathered friend lots love and practice!


Cockatoos, especially large species like the Moluccan cockatoo, are heavy hitters in the parrot language department. This is because they not only have a wide vocal range to work with, but they are naturally inquisitive, intelligent birds. They love to talk and pay close attention to what their owners say. In fact, some larger species of cockatoos have been reported to say up to 250 words or more.

Though they may not be as skilled at mimicking human speech as the likes of African Grey or Eclectus parrots — which can easily pick up 800 words or more — Cockatoos possess native intelligence that allows them to understand and use words beyond just repeating them back. The bigger challenge when training Cockatoos is their persistence; like any bird, their attention span is limited and it takes a great deal of patience and commitment from the owner for any sort of progress in this area.


Macaws, like all parrot species, can be incredibly intelligent. They have a reputation as excellent talkers and are often cited as being able to learn more than 200 words. However, that number can vary considerably depending on the attention and time spent training with the bird.

Macaws can be particularly apt learners due to their large brains and enhanced vocal abilities that allow them to replicate human speech patterns. As such, macaws may easily learn up to about 1000 words. Birds need repetition and reinforcement to learn language so it is important for owners of macaws to spend time engaging in conversation with their pets in order to encourage language development.

In addition, some breeds of parrots may excel at mimicking music or television show themes or even singing songs that are taught to them through playbacks or recordings by their owners. This phenomenon of using sound in a specific manner is known as vocal learning, which is believed to occur only among humans, apes and some species of birds such as parrots; it has not been documented among other birds. Macaws take particularly well to this type of learning, making the possibilities endless when it comes to teaching them new words or musical talents!


In conclusion, it is difficult to estimate the exact number of words that parrots can learn, as it depends on each individual bird. However, studies show that parrots are capable of learning a wide variety of words and can even use them in context. With consistent training, these stunning creatures can have a vocabulary as large or sometimes even larger than a five-year-old child. Research indicates that large parrot species may have better linguistic capabilities than the small ones, though the truth of this has yet to be proven. While there is no exact number for this question, it’s safe to assume that with adequate training and practice, parrots may be able to learn a wealth of new words and use them appropriately.

Checkout this video:

Similar Posts