Parrots are animated, social, intelligent birds. They like to have fun whenever and wherever they can.
There are plenty of videos online to prove that these amazing feathery friends miss no opportunity to make some noise.
Many would agree that the best feature of a parrot is the ability to talk.
Parrots can talk; we all know that, but did you know there are differences in speaking ability with some parrots being fluent talkers and others that talk relatively less?
When parrots are talking, they do it to attract their owners or their peers. Not all types of parrots can talk.
In species that can talk, it depends on the kind of training they receive and their health to know if they can talk.
What type of parrot talks the most? Among all the parrot species, African greys, parakeets, Indian ring-necks, Amazons, eclectus, macaws, cockatoos, and quakers are the most talkative birds. However, African grey parrots are considered the most talkative, consistently outperforming others.
Parrots are an interesting and intelligent species.
Not only can parrots learn to talk from humans, but the cockatoo species has been found to learn words from members of their species who were once domesticated and then released. Amazing!
Let’s find out more interesting facts about parrots by exploring the best parrot talkers.
1. The Best Talking Parrot: African Grey
The African grey parrot has time and again proved to be one of the most intelligent avian beings with their talking ability and intelligence.
Out of all the parrots, the Congo and Timneh African greys are the best talkers. When it comes to training them, the Timneh is easier to train than the Congo African grey parrots.
Pamela Clark, CVT, offers the following advice in regards to training these beautiful birds:
If she makes a noise that you don’t enjoy, then this must be ignored completely. If she talks, and this is something you want her to do more frequently, then you should respond immediately with a “Good girl!” and then the speedy delivery of a favorite, but small, food treat.
- Training: You can start training them to talk any time, but most will not mimic words until after they reach 1 year of age.
- Lifespan: The African grey parrots have a lifespan of 40 to 50 years. Considering the young age when they can start learning, you have a lot of time to train them.
- Potential Vocabulary: On average, the African grey parrots can learn between 50 and 200 words. Some species can learn up to 1,000 words, but that only comes with extensive training.
- Average Cost: $1000 to $1500
Just like the Amazon forest, this parrot species is equally impressive, unique, and full of surprises.
The Amazon parrots are known to have the clearest voice among talking parrots. They can copy the pitch and tone of your voice as well as the noises around them.
They are also good whistlers and can even replicate sounds, such as a ringing telephone or a baby crying, with incredible accuracy.
Want to know the best Amazon parrot known for being a chattier companion? It’s the yellow-naped Amazon parrot.
Although all parrots are talkative, Amazons tend to be more social than other parrots. However, they are quite energetic and can become aggressive with little provocation.
- Training: The best way to train Amazons is if only one person is conversing with the bird.
- Lifespan: The Amazon parrots have a lifespan of 60 – 70 years.
- Potential Vocabulary: These parrots can easily learn 100 to 200 words without any trouble, but it depends on how you train them.
- Average Cost: $400 to $1000
Curious as to whether or not parrots actually understand what they say? You can find the answer here.
3. Parakeet (Budgerigar)
Budgerigars are native to Australia. Even though African grey is known to be the most intelligent, it is a pet parakeet named Puck who holds the record for most words.
Puck has a vocabulary of 1,728 words, a record that no other bird has yet broken. Budgerigars or budgies are lively birds who are known to enjoy and live a relaxed life.
Because parakeets have a shorter life span, they start to learn words and tricks earlier than other parrots.
- Training: Budgies can start talking at a very young age, between 3 to 4 months. However, it will only happen when you acquire them before they reach their 3rd month birthday.
- Lifespan: Parakeets can live up to 10 years.
- Potential Vocabulary: Depending on the age you start training and the kind of training they receive, budgies can learn between 120 to 500 words.
- Average Cost: $10 to $35
4. Indian Ring-Necked Parakeet
Indian ring-neck parakeets are sometimes considered the same as budgies. However, the former is mostly found in India, and the latter is native to America.
Despite a few similarities, they are different species.
The Indian ring-necked parakeets are distinct from other species of parrots as they are highly dependent on their trainer in terms of how well and how far they go with learning.
If you have ever seen a video of a green-colored parrot singing a song, that’s likely the Indian ring parakeet.
They are among the most talkative parrots by nature. Thus, it depends on you or the trainer to help them utilize their potential to talk and understand things.
We do know they can imitate songs, which shows how well they can learn.
- Training: Training these parrots is easy as they have great language-grasping power. They can start talking at 8 months to 1 year of age.
- Lifespan: On average, 30 years.
- Potential Vocabulary: If you work diligently with them, these parrots can learn between 100 to 300 words.
- Average Cost: $400 to $500
5. Quaker or Monk Parakeet
Unlike monks, this species of parrots is a feisty one. They are, however, funny and intelligent beings, but you shouldn’t be fooled by their small size, as these are moody birds.
If they don’t like you or are not in the mood to interact, they won’t hesitate to give you a good scare.
But when the Quaker parakeets are in the mood to become your friends, they like to be held in hand and stroked. This will certainly help you in training them.
You have to be careful while training them because they are, again, moody parrots.
Sometimes, they won’t talk no matter what, while on other occasions, you will find them talking when there is no one in the room.
- Training: Quaker parakeets are ready to learn to talk when they reach 5 months of age. They need to be rewarded with positive reinforcement and a meaningful reward if you want them to start talking.
- Lifespan: They can live between 20 to 30 years.
- Potential Vocabulary: If you train them right, they can learn between 40 to 100 words.
- Average Cost: $600 to $700
6. Eclectus Parrot
There are two things you must know about the eclectus parrot.
One, they exhibit sexual dimorphism, which means that the males and females of the species display differences in size, feathering, colors, etc.
In this case, male eclectus have brilliant green plumage while the females displays bright red-and-blue markings.
Second, males are more submissive than females.
On a general note, they have strong speaking abilities, and you must harness their natural tendency in order to train them better.
Eclectus parrots are eager to mimic their owners. This makes training them a bit easier, especially the males, as they are docile and easy to tame.
- Training: Always train in a peaceful environment and reward them to reinforce the behavior. Eclectus parrots will start to talk when they are 3 to 4 months old.
- Lifespan: On average, they’ll live for 30 years.
- Potential Vocabulary: With the power of mimicry, you can help them learn between 100 and 120 words.
- Average Cost: $1000 to $3000
Three types of cockatoos are most popular in the talking birds segment. They are the rose-breasted cockatoo, yellow-crested cockatoo, and long-billed corella.
Cockatoo parrots will certainly impress you with their talking abilities, but the downside is that they can only learn a handful of words.
However, what they lack in numbers, they compensate with their ability to make noise and speech with superb clarity.
Be aware that cockatoos can and do scream. They are known to cause a ruckus and give you an earful.
They are also friendly birds though, which means that they like companionship, a fact that can be useful in training them.
However, be warned that they take time to learn and mimic words.
- Training: To help them learn, ensure that you speak every word clearly and loudly. Sometimes it can take 2 to 3 years for them to start talking.
- Lifespan: 30 years for rose-breasted; 40 years for yellow-crested, and 50 years for long-billed corella.
- Potential Vocabulary: In their lifetime, cockatoos can only learn 10 to 30 words.
- Average Cost: $500 to $1200
These birds are on the list of the most colorful and lively birds out there. On top of that, they love being social and are blessed with playful behavior.
A macaw’s voice is very loud, which sometimes can become a nuisance. Although they have a loud and clear voice, the macaws have only moderate talking ability.
Training macaws is easier said than done. Even though they are good at interacting and reacting to your voice, they are not naturally inclined to learn to talk fast enough.
- Training: Set up a strict training routine, but even then, talking is not a guarantee. They can start to talk at 4 to 5 months of age, but it can take years for macaws to speak their first word.
- Lifespan: Macaws can live up to 50 years.
- Potential Vocabulary: With the strictest training routine, you can get them to learn up to 50 words.
- Average Cost: $1200 to $3500
What Is the Easiest Parrot To Train?
As always it depends on several factors, as there is no direct answer to which parrot is the easiest to train.
If you are looking for a low-maintenance parrot who is also friendly, then a parakeet is the obvious answer.
These small parrots are adorable, and they are one of the best birds to domesticate. In terms of training, budgies are easy to tame as they are naturally friendly.
However, if you can handle big birds and want the best bang for your buck, then macaws can turn out to be an easy bird to train.
This is because, like budgies, macaws are also friendly and socialistic birds.
However, in comparison to budgies, macaws are more lively, and for the right owner, they can be very affectionate towards people.
What Parrots Live the Longest?
Macaws take the stage with the longest lifespan of 100 years, but that is only if proper care is given. The Amazons are close with a 70-year lifespan.
Some parrots are known to defy the odds and have set world records. For instance, Cookie is a Cockatoo that lived for 83 years; it passed away in 2016.
What Is the Cheapest Talking Parrot?
Parakeets are the most affordable talking parrots. These small birds only cost between $10 and $35. The best part is that they can learn up to 300 words.
So, budgies are, all things considered, a great parrot to keep as they are low maintenance, easy to train, and friendly.
As social as parrots are known to be, they can also be fierce and harmful.
So, before buying any sort of parrot, ensure to do some research into their behavior and how easy they are to tame.
Especially if you have kids at home, do not risk buying an easily frightened and/or moody parrot.
Considering all things, parrots qualify as good and friendly pets to keep at home.
When it comes to talking, different parrots respond differently to the measures you take for training them.
Always ask the seller to tell you about the parrot and the way in which it was raised before you buy, and get some tips on their behavior. It will help with training.