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Talking Birds

If you are looking for an unconventional pet that will provide companionship and love, a talking bird is right for you. These entertaining creatures make delightful pets because they can talk back and communicate. If you are willing to offer a bird the care they need, they will stay happy and healthy for years. In this article, our Rabun County vets delve into the great debate and explore whether giving bones to dogs is safe.

Why You Should Adopt a Talking Bird

Due to the lifespan of birds, and the amount of care, space, and attention they require, many talking birds are being cared for by non-profit rehoming agencies. Many birds awaiting adoption have not been abused, but instead have been very well-loved and cared for. Often these birds have outlived their first owners and need a new home, although many have been surrendered because of family circumstances. 

Reputable bird rehoming agencies will also help you find the right bird for your lifestyle and skill level. Their volunteers and experts get to know the birds and can provide you with insights into the individual bird's personality.

When choosing which bird species is right for you, you should remember that bird voices range from beautiful and soothing to loud and shrieking! If you live in an apartment with thin walls you may want to pay particular attention to what the species you're considering sounds like.

Which birds can talk?

If you are looking for a pet who will greet you with a warm 'hello darling' as you walk through the door, a talking bird may be just the pet you're looking for. That said, not all talking birds have the same capacity for speech and some may be a little too loud for your liking, so it's important to do your research before purchasing a talking bird.

That said, birds don't just learn to speak all by themselves. Teaching a bird to talk will take patience, persistence, love, care, and time together. It's important to note that some birds will never learn to speak.

Birds do not have vocal cords like humans do. Your bird's voice is produced the same way as songbirds sing. So think of your bird's voice as their song for you. 

Are parrots the only pet birds that can talk?

While parrots are probably best known for their ability to mimic the human voice, not all parrots will be able to learn to talk, and not all talking birds are parrots.

Mynah birds, crows, ravens, and starlings can mimic the human voice to varying degrees. You can find examples of this phenomenon on YouTube.

What are the best talking birds?

There are a few types of talking birds you can adopt. Parrots are the most common and brightly colored of the talking birds. These intelligent and charming creatures provide years of companionship and chatter - if you're willing to invest in training and keeping them healthy and happy.

One important point to note if you are considering purchasing a parrot, these birds can have a very long lifespan!  Depending on the species, some parrots can be expected to live for 50 years or more!

That said, if you research and find the right species to fit your lifestyle, you'll have a loyal friend who will continually charm, amuse, and entertain. Each breed will have its quirks and different personalities, so here are a few highlights to get you started. 

African Grey

Considered by many to be the smartest of the talking birds, the African grey parrot can expand its vocabulary of hundreds of words. These birds are known for their exceptional understanding and imitation of human speech.

The African Grey's ability to build their vocabulary will depend on their relationship to their owner, as they tend to attach to only one person. They can learn from different voices and sounds that surround them regularly, and they're even intelligent enough to make different sounds to throw off predators. Love and treats will help them quickly improve their ability to talk.

Double Yellow Head Amazon

At about 14 - 16 inches in length, this medium-sized, strikingly bright-colored parrot is one of the most popular pet species of the Amazon parrot group. An affectionate pet, they are intelligent and will soak up your attention, so beware that this beauty will require loads of love and attention.

It boasts an incredible ability to mimic human voices and songs. You two will make some beautiful music together. A caveat for this bird: It’s a boisterous, noisy bird that will engage in screaming sessions twice a day, at dawn and dusk. Though these are normal, they can be startling and last longer if the bird becomes bored due to a lack of mental stimulation or attention.


Also affectionately called the budgie or parakeet, this bird can make a great pet and is capable of several songs and phrases. Don’t let its small size fool you; budgies have broken world records for the largest bird vocabulary, although not all birds in the species have great potential and vocabulary will vary among individual birds.

Birds are smart and social and enjoy practicing chatting with their caretakers. You’ll find they tend to imitate words that their owners frequently use. Both females and males can imitate human speech, though male birds appear to be better at speaking words in the right tone.

Indian Ringneck Parakeet

With a gift for learning longer phrases in addition to shorter words, Indian Ringneck Parakeets are notorious talkers and clever birds that can build a large vocabulary. Although they are most likely to speak in their own high-pitched “bird voice” rather than mimic human voices. Many can learn dozens or hundreds of words.

Provided they are properly socialized and handled daily by their caretakers, Indian Ringneck Parakeets can be charming pets who love learning new tricks (think waving hello with a foot).\

Electus Parrot

Known for their ability to mimic human speech and repeat words that they hear around them in high quality, some parrots will even learn an entire song and serenade you with it. Both males and females have charming voices and characteristics.

These birds are typically gentle and friendly, thrive on socialization with caretakers, and are not usually boisterous.

How much does a talking bird cost?

Birds require a significant commitment and investment to keep them healthy and happy. If you go to a pet store with large or small talking birds for sale, they can cost between $20 (for a baby budgie) and $5,000 (for a mature macaw).

It is also important to research where you are purchasing the bird from. Many species of birds such as the Double Yellow Head Amazon are endangered in their native homeland and some are smuggled across the border in terrible conditions. You will have your bird for many years, so taking your time to check out where the bird you are considering has come from is a great first step in becoming a responsible bird owner.

For more information on choosing the right bird for your household, visit our Exotic Pets page.

Do you have a bird in need of veterinary care? Contact our Rabun County vets to learn about what animal hospitals can provide care for your bird.

We Can't Wait To Meet You!

Rabun Animal Hospital is currently accepting new patients! Our wonderful veterinarians are dedicated to the health and happiness of Rabun County dogs, cats, and exotic pets. Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.

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