It is strange, yet an amazing fact that besides human beings there are birds that can also talk. Some birds are famous for having the ability to mimic the words or sentences that human beings use. In fact, when chicks of a bird like parrots and myna are raised in captivity as pets, they acquire the ability to learn speech that their owners use while in constant interaction and deep attachment with their owners.

Many people keep pets as a hobby. They like to feed them, play with them and rear them as their companion. In this quest, some people raise birds and teach them to talk with them. In the subcontinent, many people keep the common myna and ringed parrot as pets and they have so much attachment with these birds that the owners teach them few important words and sentences. It is fascinating to hear the birds uttering human-like speech and words.

Many owners teach the birds in vernacular languages some key words and sentences such as ‘welcome’ and ‘goodbye’.

Following are a few birds that have the ability to talk.

Ringnecked parrot
Ringnecked parrot

Ringnecked parrot

The ringnecked parrot is one of the most common pet birds across the subcontinent. The bird is reared for its ability to learn talking from an early age when raised as a chick.

After training and frequent interaction, the grownup chicks begin to talk. Due to constant human interaction, the birds learn some of the most commonly repeated words in daily conversation. They have the ability to learn not only words, but also sentences.

It is not only a loyal but also an intelligent bird which is a good companion of humans. This bird is very much admired for its speaking ability, green colour and adaptation.

Common myna
Common myna

Common myna

Another most-widely raised pet bird is the common myna or hill myna, sometimes spelled mynah. People like to raise its chicks and teach them some important words or sentences because they are famous for the mimicry of the human voice.

These pet birds get used to the human social environment with the passage of time and they even follow the owners when allowed to fly free. The owners take care of such birds because they can chirp, talk, whistle and croak at large and it is a token of pride for them.

In the wild, this bird has adapted itself to the urban environment and is one of the most commonly visiting birds to our homes.

African grey parrots
African grey parrots

African grey parrots

While most parrots have the ability to talk, the African grey parrot is a bird that can best imitate human speech. Because of its attachment and frequent interaction with the owner, this parrot has the ability to learn words and sentences people use with them. This bird can prove to be a good talking bird when raised from an early stage through training in talking.

Famous as a pet and caged bird, the African grey parrots are intelligent and social birds, having great attachment with the owner.

Budgerigar
Budgerigar

Budgerigar

These are also very popular pet parakeets which are seen in many places and homes. The budgerigars are capable of learning to talk when properly trained. Because of their shrill sound, their ability to talk is often overlooked or not properly understood.

After a long association, attachment and repeatedly talking with them, the budgerigars are able to talk a few words or phrases.

Budgerigars are kept in few numbers in a large cage because of their varying colours and small size. These are very social and vocal little birds that provide great fun and attract attention at large.

Besides these there are also some other kinds of parrots that have the ability to talk or mimic speech, including the Quaker parrots, eclectus parrots, and Amazon parrots.

Eclectus Parakeet
Eclectus Parakeet

Eclectus Parrot

The eclectus parrots are native to New Guinea islands; they are known for their clarity of speech and vocabulary. This specie of parrots copy most of the words they hear around them and mimic them in high quality. They not only mimic human speech but also every attractive sounds they hear from the surroundings.

Monk Parakeet
Monk Parakeet

Monk Parakeet

Monk parakeets, also known as quaker parrots, are mainly found across Europe, South and North America. Like other talking birds monk parakeets also require care and proper training to mimic the human voice. They will learn and imitate the words they hear repeatedly from the trainer.

A well socialised monk parakeet parrot is also able to use the words that they learned at the right situations. It becomes practical only if the trainer associate right actions or emotions with words while teaching. This social bird also mimics other sounds they hear from their surroundings.

Published in Dawn, Young World, August 20th, 2016

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