Which Parrots Talk?

Did you know that there are over 350 species of parrots in the world? And of those, only a handful are known to talk. So which parrots talk? Read on to find out!


Parrots are incredibly intelligent birds, with some species capable of developing extensive vocabularies, extensive mimicry skills and creating complex relationships with their human owners. From amazons to macaws, cockatiels to African greys, parrots have an amazing capacity for mimicking and understanding human language. But not all parrot species are able to talk.

The speaking ability of parrots depends on many factors, including the bird’s intelligence, its genetics, its age and the amount of training it receives. Some birds manage to learn a few words or simple phrases naturally by observing the people around them and making associations with particular words and phrases. Others must be trained in order for them to learn how to speak. In order for a parrot to learn a phrase, it needs patience from its owner and varying levels of repetition in reinforcement-based learning methods such as clicker training or treat-based reward systems. By consistently repeating words or phrases during daily interaction with your bird, it will start responding in kind until eventually understanding the meaning behind each word or phrase it has learned so that it can reproduce the sound accurately when commanded.

Types of Parrots

Parrots are incredibly intelligent, talkative birds that come in a variety of colors, sizes, and shapes. Generally, the larger parrots tend to be the more talkative ones, but there are several types of parrots that are capable of learning to talk. We will explore the various kinds of parrots, their respective talking abilities, and more.

African Grey Parrots

African Grey Parrots are one of the most beloved pet parrots and are highly sought after for their intelligence and their skill at mimicry. African Greys have been known to memorize lengthy speech patterns, gain a large vocabulary, formulate short sentences with proper syntax, and even appear to understand the meaning of words. They can learn more than 1,000 words, although not all African Greys talk.

African Greys come in two varieties: Congo and Timneh. Congo African Greys are the larger of the two species and tend to be more vocal than Timnehs. While many parrot owners have gone viral with videos of their vocal talents from either breed, it should be noted that not every African Grey talks or mimics. And while some may develop an extensive vocabulary, this is not a guarantee as each bird has its own personality that affects its skill set.

To teach your parrot how to talk, you must start early – preferably before 18 months old — when they’re most receptive to learning language skills. Mimicry is best encouraged through positive reinforcement such as treats or verbal praise when they get it right or make progress towards repeating desired words.


Macaws are large, beautifully colored parrots native to the forests of Central and South America. They come in a variety of colors, including scarlet, blue, gold and green. Macaws are considered to be among the most intelligent parrot species, with some displaying similar levels of problem-solving skills as chimpanzees.

Many larger species of macaw possess a skill that many pet owners cherish: the ability to vocalize words and phrases in human language. Depending on the species, parrots can learn hundreds or even thousands of words and sounds throughout their lifetime and can even begin to replicate tones associated with human laughter.

Much like humans, birds need regular interactive training for effective speech development. The more time owners spend teaching a macaw how to talk—or improving its vocabulary—the better its skills will become!


Cockatoos, found primarily in Australia and nearby areas of Indonesia, are a type of parrot known for their large crest or “mohawk” of feathers. These beautiful birds typically have white and gray feathers, although some species have bright red coloring. The most notable attributes of cockatoos are their loud calls and ability to mimic human speech. The smallest variety is the Goffin’s Cockatoo and the largest is the Sulphur-crested Cockatoo.

Cockatoos have varying levels of talking ability based on species. For example, the Goffin’s Cockatoo can be taught to say several words whereas the larger varieties may learn only a few phrases or sentences. They rely heavily on their owners for interaction so it is important to be consistent with training in order to encourage them to talk more often. Training sessions should also include playtime activities in order for them to build a bond with their owners. These birds make wonderful pets for those who seeking an interactive pet that can interact verbally with its owners!


Conures are a type of parrot found in tropical regions throughout the world. There are about 334 species in the Conure family and they come in a variety of bold colors. These colorful birds make popular pets, particularly due to their ability to learn to talk. In fact, some Conure species are known for being highly vocal and were once used as message-delivers by sailors.

The most common species of conures kept as pets include Sun Conures, Nanday Conures, Blue Crowned Conures and jenday conures. All species have the potential to learn human speech with lots of patience and consistent reinforcement. Some learn more quickly than others so it’s important to research what works best for each subspecies if you’d like your bird to talk.

The most vocal conure available is the Patagonian conure which can excel at both speaking and whistling phrases with some training. One of the quieter breeds is still quite capable of learning new words – this is the Green Cheeked conure, who may never quite reach polyglot level but may still surprise you with its repertoire of learned phrases!

Overall, conures generally require lots of attention just like any other pet bird or animal does – however, with dedication and consistency, your pet conure will soon be able to mimic human speech that can be a lot of fun!

Parrot Speech

Parrots have the remarkable ability to imitate human speech and can be trained to say words and phrases. While parrots cannot actually understand the words they are saying, their ability to imitate human speech is quite impressive. While some bird species are more talented than others when it comes to talking, there are a few types of parrots that stand out. Let’s take a look at which parrots are known for their vocal talents.

What Parrots Can Say

Parrots are popular pets because of their ability to talk and imitate human speech. Not all parrots are the same, and the amount of verbally expressed speech can vary greatly between different species. Amazon parrots, conures, macaws, African Greys and budgerigars (budgies) have some of the best talking abilities among birds.

Amazon parrots are some of the most intelligent talking birds. They can learn a vocabulary of up to 200 words and phrases, including proper names such as those of people and pets in the household, as well as songs like “Old MacDonald Had a Farm.”

Conures are medium-sized birds that boast a vivid array of colors and also produce quite an impressive vocal range as they can imitate sounds such as wolf whistles or buzzers. Some conure unique sounds include chirps while they preen or chatter while they might eat food treats or toys.

Macaws have one distinct vocalization that is unique to them — they make a loud screeching sound similar to a large hawk when alarmed or distressed by something like sudden movements or strange noises in their environment. Beyond that distinctive sound though, macaws are known for their vast vocabularies which can exceed 100 different words and phrases depending on training styles/personality traits and species type/natural inclination towards mimicry.

African Greys also named for their distinct grey feathers are highly intelligent bird sounds similar to humans ranging from typical bird calls to complex phrases normally said by humans such as “hello” and “goodbye”; up to hundreds of words depending on their individual level of training! Additionally, African Grey Parrots often repeat things that people say around them with impressive accuracy–so much so that it almost seems like they understand talking more than just repeating what was said before!

Lastly budgies (or budgerigars) may not be considered one big talker however they get very good at mimicking preferred phrases multiple times very quickly if done correctly with consistent training method sessions often done together with its owners chest filled with lots patience!

Parrot Intelligence

Parrot intelligence is a complex subject, and it’s difficult to accurately assess parrots’ intelligence or ability to learn. Parrots have proven themselves to be quite intelligent, but not all species display the same level of intelligence. As with any animal species, there is natural variation in the way individuals develop and interact with their environment.

The African Grey parrot is considered to be one of the most intelligent species and is renowned for its ability to mimic its owners words and phrases. Other popular vocal parrots include Budgerigars, Indian Ringnecks, Quaker Parakeets, Eclectus Parrots Macaws and Cockatoos. All parrot species are capable of vocalizing sounds they hear in the wild or that are taught by their owners. They are a very ‘social’ type of bird that loves human company and enjoys interacting with people.

The most common type of interactions between human owners and their feathered friends includes verbal communication techniques like clucking like a chicken or whistling tunes, playing interactive games like ‘peekaboo’ or teaching them everyday tasks (ahem – fetching chores). Demonstrating patience during training sessions is key for achieving desired results from your feathered friend; teaching them verbal cues requires repetition which can take months or even years for some species.

Each parrot will develop at its own pace – some might only take days while others may take years before they are comfortable talking with you – but making sure they are enjoying the sessions should always be your primary focus!

Training Parrots to Talk

Parrots may not be able to initiate conversation, but they can learn how to imitate the words, phrases, and sounds spoken by their humans. In general, any parrot capable of producing vocalizations is capable of learning words and phrases – so all species have the potential to become proficient talkers.

The straight-forward process of teaching your parrot to speak involves repetition and dedication. Parrot owners should approach “teaching” in a positive way with plenty of patience. Talk to your parrot in a consistent tone each day and give it plenty of praise when it attempts to repeat what you’ve said – even if it gets the word or phrase wrong initially or if they only manage a few syllables correctly. Over time, as your bird becomes more accustomed to you and its environment, its ability to mimic speech will gradually improve.

Certain breeds are known for their capacity for talking more than others – African Grey Parrots are renowned for their outstanding capacity for speech learning whereas Macaws are usually better at sound imitation than word mastery. Senegals too can learn many words; however, they may not always choose to use them! Cockatiels, on the other hand often surprise their owners with exceptional mimicry abilities given their comparatively smaller size!


In conclusion, it is clear there are many species of parrot that can mimic human speech to a greater or lesser degree. African Greys and Quaker Parrots are renowned for their ability to learn multiple words and phrases, although other popular species like Amazon Parrots, Cockatoos and Macaws are highly likely to talk. Training any parrot to talk begins with patience and a large commitment of time and energy into the bird. Consistency in the type of commands used as well as providing de-stressing elements such as focusing on them and providing toys can help a great deal when it comes to teaching parrots how to talk. It is important to remember that each species will respond differently and will learn at different rates so the amount of time needed can vary from one parrot to another.

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