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Environment of Talkative Parrots

Want to teach your bird talk? Learn about and discuss methods for training birds to vocalize and mimic different sounds on cue.

Re: Environment of Talkative Parrots

Postby gabbagabbawill » Sat Dec 31, 2011 8:44 am

Jello's first word was "kitty", he picked it up from me saying "kitty" every time my cat goes to the door and wants out... He also says "water" sometimes when the water faucet is turned on. He doesn't talk on cue at all, and he seems to only talk when he wants to.

He traveled with me to my parents house for a week during the holidays... he is a great traveler in the car and does well at other people's houses... within the first hour of coming back home, he said kitty four times and started to mutter other syllables that were nonsense "words", but I've never heard him say before... he was certainly excited to be back home. As a previous poster put it, he seems to want to talk in heightened states of emotion or excitement.
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Re: Environment of Talkative Parrots

Postby liz » Sat Dec 31, 2011 10:56 am

Those nonsence words are words he is trying to form. Myrtle has starting saying sentences with expression but I can't catch the words. She is trying to say something but it is not clear yet. It is kind of like baby talk. They know what they want to say they just can't get the mouth right yet.
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Re: Environment of Talkative Parrots

Postby nagelsan » Sun Jan 01, 2012 10:28 am

i talk to the birds all the time. (i think people think i am nuts)
Our grey could allready talk al lot, but i keep hearing some new things.
Like my neighbour always says goodbye in a certain way, and he is repeating this, eventhough he allready said goodbye different ways. (goodbye, byebye, see ya etc.)
When the bell rings, he says hi, which he didn't do before.
He will never repeat me, if i talk to him, he just picks up things himself. I also think he remembers things from the past, that he hasnt said for a while, but somehow does again.
there is a movie on youtube from a dutch speaking african grey.
whe watch it sometimes together, he never liked it much, but now he is really waching and waving at the grey and making noices.
i hope he'll pick some things up, because that grey says the most funny things like: what are you doing (high voice), don't even think about it, just act normal! but he also sings, calls the police and tells you that the doctor is killing him.
I think they will pick up the most things just by listning to the daily conversations.
My senegal is one year and 3 months and refuses to speak, eventhough i talk to her all the time.
she is really fond of me and does most things just for me, but doesnt want to talk.....

when i am further on teaching her tricks, i am going tot try teaching her how to talk.
to be honest, i'm not really trying, i like her anyway.
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Re: Environment of Talkative Parrots

Postby Naurthon » Fri Jan 06, 2012 2:18 pm

liz wrote:Mine are stubborn little kids. They will not say a single thing I want the to say. I want them to say the names of things so they can ask for them. They won't even say peanut.
They ask questions, give answers, make sentences by rearanging their words but will not repeat what I want.
Stubborn.


Liz, I've been working with Dante to try to get him to talk when I'm in the room. When I'm out of sight, he chats and sings up a storm, but as soon as I enter the room, he gets quiet. I've been trying to get him to say "I love you" after I say "I love you" to him. He absolutely refuses to do so. But the kicker...when NIKKO says "I love you," Dante IMMEDIATELY says it back! I guess I know where I stand with him, huh?

As for the environment, my birds have their own separate room. That allows me to run an air filter to keep the grey dust in the rest of the house to a minimum. I also have the lights set on a timer so they boys have exactly the same amount of light each day. I'm also able to close their door when they get too noisy and I'm trying to visit with company or talk on the phone.

When I am out of the room, Dante talks quite a lot, and I respond back from wherever I am in the house. I sing all the time. I mean ALL the time. (I actually had someone I was dating break up with me once because of it. Joyless git. But I digress...) As a result, a lot of Dante's vocalizations are musical. He sings several bits of tunes with recognizable words, but also makes up his own melodies and "words". He's got a great vibrato!

When I want him to learn a particular new phrase, I repeat it a lot, and usually a bit more loudly than I really need to. I try to feel excited about the word, because I believe he can sense that. In the end though, he'll pick up whatever sounds seem interesting to him. He does coughs and nose blowing and even the squeak of the floorboards outside the bird room. He says night-night but never Good Morning (Nikko says that). When I'm not trying to teach him something new, I just speak in my regular voice to him, even if I'm clear at the other end of the house. The birds have incredibly good hearing, and don't need me to raise my voice to reply to them, even if I'm 40 feet away. He's quickest to pick up new words that get ME to respond back to him.
Nikko, Black Capped Conure :gcc: (hatched April 2008)
Maxwell, Senegal Parrot :senegal: (hatched 2004?)
Dante, Congo African Grey :gray: (hatched Nov 28, 2009)
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Re: Environment of Talkative Parrots

Postby nagelsan » Mon Jan 09, 2012 12:29 am

other birds talking allready may help too.
i found the eclectus saying more and more (still not understandable) and my grey responding by saying some words in the same hight as the eclectus speaks.
So, that way, he is trying to communicate by using the eclectus voice.
I just found out that when i call my cat, or she is in the room, he will call: Dribble, wich i think is the name of the cat of his previous owners.
He only says that when our cat is near or when i call out for her.
He also calls me by the name of his previous owner, calling me back when i leave the room or he doesnt see me.
I donno how to change it to the correct names yet, but i will figure that out.
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Re: Environment of Talkative Parrots

Postby liz » Mon Jan 09, 2012 12:14 pm

Mine won't say anything that I actually TRY to teach them.

Everything comes to me one at a time in the morning for a pet or noogie and I tell them good morning. It seems that by now Rambo and Myrtle should have picked it up. If Rambo says it Myrtle will but he is stubborn. (she just stole and ink pen off my desk)

Rambo used to have a little buddy cockatiel named Errin. He still tries to call him even though it was long before I knew Rambo. Myrtle will call Rambo by name but Rambo will not say Myrtle. He does call her but never by name.

It is like two stubborn little kids. By the way Myrtle does not "step up" but will "come're".
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Re: Environment of Talkative Parrots

Postby lwis » Fri Feb 10, 2012 2:15 am

Darwin is probably close to 8 months old, and he started trying to form words within a couple weeks.
Since GCC aren't typcally known to be good talkers, I never intentionally tried to say things with the intention of him repeating them. I just talk to him a lot. He seems to pick up any word that is emotionally charged or spoken in a high-pitch or excited tone the quickest...or any sound than he finds interesting. He can say about half a dozen words/phrases, but none are very clear. He is currently learning how to say thank you and good boy. Whenever he would "give us a kiss" we would say thank you in an animated voice, and I can hear him practising using the same tone, but the words aren't quite formed yet.
He tries to say good boy along with me. Whenever I say it I tend to draw out the boooooy and he mumbles a gravelly ooooooy sound at the same time.
Also, lately he has begun interrupting my conversations. The other day, I had a friend over and was having a conversation while Darwin was on my shoulder. Every time I would talk he would mumble along with me, but would stop when I would stop. It was pretty funny, but distracting, lol. I guess that's what our conversations sound like to him and he wanted to be included.
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Re: Environment of Talkative Parrots

Postby liz » Fri Feb 10, 2012 8:09 pm

Myrtle knows "hello" "tickle tickle" "pretty girl" and most of the common things. She yelled "help" one day when her foot was caught in a ribbon. She says "no" and the funniest thing was when she came through a doorway and yelled "out of my way", which she has heared me say to the dogs. She laughs when I laugh or when she gets yelled at for stealing. We sing her song together, "La La La".
Somestimes she says something with expression in a sentence but I can't catch on to her baby talk yet. She will butt in to conversations and etc. Oh, and she is starting to talk to the other animals.

Rambo already has enough vocabulary to hold a conversation but is picking up verbs and connecting words. He says Moma and Grandma and Raddel (Rachel) and Riddick, his favorite dog. I can't say enough about Rambo. He is a human in feathers.

Okay - enough bragging.
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Re: Environment of Talkative Parrots

Postby Andromeda » Fri Feb 24, 2012 4:20 pm

My brown-headed parrot Jimmy is a rescue and this is his third home. I'm not sure how old he is but my guess is he was about a year or a year and a half old when I adopted him. He didn't talk for several months, but he surprised me one day by suddenly saying, "Jimmy!" in my voice, basically. Obviously it's not an exact mimic like a Grey but it's recognizable as my voice as even visitors have said to me, "He sounds just like you!"

It's funny because my husband is his favorite by far but everything he says are things I say to him and in my voice. Maybe it's easier for him to imitate the higher-pitched voice of a woman.

As other people in this thread have mentioned, I speak to him in context and mostly in full sentences. He was extremely fearful when we first adopted him and so I developed a habit of telling him what we were going to do before we did it to try to keep him calm. He uses words in context such as, "I'll be right back" when I leave the room, "Night night" when it's his bed time, and "Hi, birdie" when I enter the room or come home.

He says lots of other things, too: "Want a treat?" "There you go!" "I love you!" "Hi, baby bird." "He's a good bird." "Are you my Jimmy?"

What's really funny and also impressive is he seems to have a concept of what his name is even though I call him a few different things. I call him "Jimmy" "Jim" "J" and "Jimmy-immy" and he will use these interchangeably---for example, he learned "Are you my Jimmy?" but this morning I heard him say, "Are you my Jim? Are you my Jimmy-immy? Are you my Jimmy bird?" which I have never said.

I can tell when he really likes something I'm saying to him because he will sit still and pin his eyes. Then I know he's really listening and I'll repeat it over and over again. That's how he learned "Are you my Jimmy?"

He also mimics my singing. He has a great vibrato!

My green cheeked conure Bubba says a few things as well but his voice is very rough. He was a re-home and I'll never forget that his first owner said "He doesn't talk" and we brought him home and the very next morning when I uncovered his cage he said in a very excited voice, "Hi, baby! Hi, baby! Hi, baby!" Later I ran the water and he started repeating, "Take a bath! Take a bath!" It made me kind of sad that his first owner never realized he was repeating her, especially the "Hi, baby!" in the morning because he says that pretty clearly.

He's learned a few other things in the past couple of years: "Hi, B." "Hey, Bubba." "Step up!" "Stop!" "It's okay!" "Shhh!" "C'mere!" "C'mon!"

I'm not sure what motivated them to talk but they definitely seem to really pick up on some things while ignoring other things I say all the time. My husband and I work from home so my birds are out of their cages 10 - 12 hours a day and have constant interaction. We talk to them all day long. I also play the radio for them but not the TV.

I think speaking to birds in phrases or full sentences within context is one of the best ways, if not the best way, to encourage talking. Birds are very intelligent and if you speak in context they will eventually learn the general idea of the phrase. For example, Jimmy lets me know when it's past his bed time: if I'm even a few minutes late putting him to bed he looks at me and starts repeating "Night, night" "Night, night, night" as if to say, "HELLO! Did you forget it was my bedtime?" It's uncanny how accurate his internal clock is.
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Re: Environment of Talkative Parrots

Postby marie83 » Fri Feb 24, 2012 5:34 pm

Naurthon wrote: Liz, I've been working with Dante to try to get him to talk when I'm in the room. When I'm out of sight, he chats and sings up a storm, but as soon as I enter the room, he gets quiet. I've been trying to get him to say "I love you" after I say "I love you" to him. He absolutely refuses to do so. But the kicker...when NIKKO says "I love you," Dante IMMEDIATELY says it back! I guess I know where I stand with him, huh?



That made me laugh, it sound exactly like Ollie after I took him to the vets, he refuses to make kiss noises to me now, even though he did all the time before but still blows lots of kisses to my OH, his treats, favorite toys etc.... Basicly everyone and everything but me. These birds know meanings not just associations I'm sure of it...
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