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Top 7 'Talking' Parrots

Updated on October 25, 2014
Frederick Green profile image

Frederick Green grew up with a variety of species of parrots. He loves to research and share his experience with other parrot owners.

Parrots love to make loud noises and throw tantrums!
Parrots love to make loud noises and throw tantrums! | Source

Humans aren't alone when it comes to talking...

It is not unusual to relate the word "talk" with the word "parrot". Everyone knows that parrots are great at talking up a storm. In addition to talking, some parrots can perform beautiful opera pieces; whistle the theme song to your children's favorite cartoons or confuse you by mimicing the microwave, doorbell and telephone!

Does Polly Really Want a Cracker?

Despite their ability to talk, most people claim that parrots don't understand what they say. Therefore, parrots don't technically talk; they mimic (in other words: copy). They do this by manipulating air across air sacs throughout their bodies. All birds have a syrinx, a vocal organ. Birds that do learn to talk can change the shape, width and depth of their syrinx and vibrate the syrinx in certain ways to create what sounds like human speech. However, the debate whether parrots understand what they say or not rages on!

#7 - Indian Ringnecks

Indian Ringnecks are medium-large sized parakeets. They are naturally green but selective breeding has led to the creation of other colors such as yellow and blue. Indian Ringnecks can mimic human speech, whistle and copy sounds such as your phone's ringtone. On average, Indian Ringnecks are able to mimic around 80-120 words.

#6 - Budgerigars/Parakeets

Parakeets or Budgerigars, more informally known as Budgies are small but intelligent parrots. These Australian birds are great at mimicing. A budgie named "Puck" holds the record for the largest vocabulary at 1728! As budgies are mostly bought in pairs or groups, not many budgies talk because being with a mate limits the ability to talk. However, budgies that are trained can learn up to 200 words! Afterall, "good things come in small packages", don't they?

#5 - Quaker Parrots

A Quaker Parrot or Monk Parakeet is a talkative, medium-sized parakeet. They are green in color but like the Indian Ringneck, they come in various colors due to mutations. Not only can they talk, they can imitate other sounds such as microwave beeping or even laughter! Their speech is also known to be quite clear. They are entertaining clowns that will not hesitate to dance or talk all day long!

#4 - Eclectus Parrots

Eclectus Parrots are relatively large parrots known for talking. They are also very interesting because males and females look completely different they were once thought to be different species. Both males and females are capable of talking but a lot of owners notice males are a tiny bit more vocal when it comes to talking. Eclectus parrots aren't usually cuddly or playful but will entertain everyone by talking endlessly! On average, Eclectus Parrots can learn up to 350 words!

#3 - Macaws

Macaws are large, long-tailed parrots. There are many species of Macaws but Blue and Gold and Green-winged tend to stand out when it comes to talking. Macaws are loving and affectionate; they are great at talking and imitating the sounds of objects in your home. Not only can they talk, their speech is known to be extremely clear and sometimes sound like the person that taught them! They can learn up to 400 words!

#2 - Amazon Parrots

Amazon Parrots are green, South-American parrots. They are medium-large in size and are one of the best talkers in the world! If you are interested in vocal lessons, you might as well just purchase Amazon Parrots. Without a doubt, they are the world's best singers! They are also known to whistle theme songs and can learn up to 700-900 words! But still, nothing can beat the opera performance these singers can deliver! All Amazon Parrot species are known to talk but the best talkers are the Yellow-naped and the Double Yellow-headed Amazons.

#1 - African Grey Parrots

Without a doubt, the #1 spot is rightfully reserved for the African Grey. They are mostly grey in color with a grey to red-colored tail. African Greys have been known to learn up to 1,200 words! Their speech is also extremely clear and has different voices depending on who taught the bird. African Greys are known as the most intelligent bird in the world. A bird called "Alex" proved to many people that parrots actually understand what they say. It will say "food" or "water" when hungry and can relate the word "four" to a square, the word "blue" to a blue toy and so on.

There we have it, the top seven feathered chatterboxes! However, everybody must be aware that not all parrots talk. Please refrain from buying a parrot solely because you want it to talk. Some African Greys, the best talkers, never say a word in their lifetime no matter how hard you train it! Obviously, the ability to talk is an irresistible quality but it shouldn't be the main reason to buy a bird! Many owners actually abandon their parrots after finding out their parrot aren't as talkative as the birds in the YouTube videos.

You should only purhcase a parrot because you love it and you are certain you can provide it with a forever, caring home.

After seeing all these talented talkers, don't you feel like you need to work on your speaking skills too?


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