11 Most Talking Bird Species: Which Ones Are The Best Pets?

The Most Talking Bird Species
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There are many good reasons to keep a bird as a pet. Birds are pretty, loving, and fun. But they can imitate speech, which makes them more interesting as pets than dogs and cats. Did you know a bird’s vocabulary can grow to as many as a thousand words? A wide range of human words is possible for certain talking bird species.

There are dozens of bird species capable of mimicking human speech, although some have far superior word-learning abilities. Your bird’s health and speaking capacity will improve with proper training, nutrition, and care. These things may be more important than just picking a species that talks a lot. Still, some species can do it naturally, and Canvas Personalized has picked our top 11 favorites.

How Come Pet Birds Can Talk?

Due to their shared cerebellum and cortex with humans, birds can communicate verbally. Their brain manages the functions of perception, memory, sensory data, and language.

On the other hand, the cerebellum is responsible for controlling the voluntary motor activities of the brain. These parts of the brain are linked by a neural highway called the pontine nuclei, which lets them share information and work together.

Talking Birds Breeds
Talking parrot breeds (Image: National Audubon Society)

Since parrots have big pontine nuclei, researchers from the University of Alberta hypothesized that birds might converse in the same manner that humans do. Yet, the results of their research led them to conclude that although birds possess a medial spiniform nucleus, their activities are comparable to those of pontine nuclei.

The pallium, the grey and white matter covering the cerebellum’s top surface, has more cells in talking pet birds than non-talking birds. Because of this, birds can imitate human speech. Since they lack vocal cords, parrots cannot communicate verbally, but they may mimic the sounds they hear.

Instead of vocal cords, birds use the syrinx, a special organ in the throat. A muscular cavity is filled with fluids found near the base of the trachea in either the spinal cord or the brain. As a result, they can generate a wide variety of sounds by modifying the depth and shape of the syrinx. This is made possible by an independent valve at the end of each structure branch.

The 10 Best talking Bird Species To Keep As Pets

1. African Grey

  • Species: Psittacus erithacus (Congo African Grey), P. erithacus subspecies timneh (Timneh African Grey)
  • Length: 9 to 14 inches
  • Weight: 11 to 19 ounces
  • Vocabulary: 50–200 words
  • Lifespan: 40–50 years

There is a solid reason why the African Grey is considered one of the most well-known talking birds. Researchers have shown that these birds are among the best at learning to imitate human speech, with some birds having been trained well enough to remember more than 1,000 words, showcasing what birds can talk the best.

There is research that suggests these parrots are capable of using words in context to carry on simple conversations. However, this does not necessarily mean they comprehend what they are saying. Care for these birds is difficult because of their intelligence and the amount of mental stimulation they require.

2. Budgerigars

  • Species: Melopsittacus undulatus
  • Length: 6 to 8 inches
  • Weight: 1 ounce
  • Vocabulary: 100–500 words
  • Lifespan: 8–10 years
One Of The Most Talkative Parrot - Budgerigars
One of the most talkative parrot – Budgerigars (Image: Flickr/shankar s)

Even though budgerigars are the smallest pet talking birds on this list, don’t be fooled by their size. Budgies usually have gravelly voices, but they can learn a lot of words and phrases. A Budgerigar named Puck holds the Guinness World Record for being the bird that spoke the most words.

Before it died, it knew 1,728 different words. Budgies are highly gregarious birds that thrive when kept in pairs; therefore, it’s possible that you already have not one but two talking birds in your house. So, they are one of the most talkative parrot species for people just starting.

3. Quaker Parakeet

  • Species: Myopsitta monachus
  • Length: 11 to 12 inches
  • Weight: 3 to 5 ounces
  • Vocabulary: 100–500 words
  • Lifespan: 8–10 years
Talking Bird Species - Quaker Parakeet
Talking bird species – Quaker Parakeet (Image: eBird)

The Quaker Parakeet is a small, smart, active bird known as the Monk Parakeet. When it wants to, it will talk nonstop and imitate other sounds it hears, making it an example of what birds talk the most. Quakers are known for having a high level of social interaction and are adept at picking up human communication quickly.

Inexperienced bird owners interested in training a bird to communicate often choose Monk Parakeets because of their reputation for being quick learners. If you want to adopt one, you should check the regulations in your area first since, in some areas of the United States, it is against the law because wild flocks have become an invasive species.

4. Amazon Parrot

  • Species: Amazona auropalliata (Yellow-naped), Amazona ocrocephala (Yellow Crowned Amazon), Amazona oratrix (Double Yellow Headed), Amazona aestiva (Blue Fronted Amazons), Amazona amazonica (Orange-winged Amazon)
  • Length: 15 to 17 inches
  • Weight: 16 to 23 ounces
  • Vocabulary: 100–150 words
  • Lifespan: 50–70 years
One Of The Most Talkative Parrot Species - Amazon Parrot
One of the most talkative parrot species – Amazon Parrot (Image: versele-laga)

Amazon parrots, especially the Yellow-Naped species, are superior orators over African Greys regarding articulation and vocabulary. They might want to act like humans because they naturally need to interact with others. Intelligent and lively, these birds enjoy being the focus of attention.

One of their many strengths is the ability to learn tricks and even sing. Many owners, however, claim their pets develop strong attachments to their guardians and become hostile toward unfamiliar people.

5. Ring-Necked Parakeet

  • Species: Psittacula krameri
  • Length: 14 to 17 inches
  • Weight: 4 ounces
  • Vocabulary: 200–250 words
  • Lifespan: 20–30 years
Ring-Necked Parakeet Talking Bird Species
Ring-Necked Parakeet talking bird species (Image: Depositphotos)

The Ring-Necked Parakeets originated in India and Asia, and their ability to communicate was so highly valued that they were often kept as pets by aristocrats. They usually have a very easy-to-understand tone of voice.

Despite their renown as intelligent creatures with vocabularies numbering in the hundreds of words, these parrots are significantly more subdued and quiet than their noisy parrot cousins. They require much training and time spent with their owners.

6. Eclectus Parrot

  • Species: Eclectus roratus
  • Length: 17 to 20 inches
  • Weight: 13 to 19 ounces
  • Vocabulary: 100–150 words
  • Lifespan: 20–30 years
Eclectus Parrots
Eclectus Parrots (Image: gerard lacz/Alamy Stock Photo)

Eclectus parrots, who are native to New Guinea, are well-known for their crystal-clear communication skills and their beautiful singing voices. Even though Eclectus parrots aren’t usually too loud, they can learn a lot of human words and phrases.

They thrive on interaction with their human caretakers and are known to be docile and amiable birds. It has been said that Eclectus males are simpler to train but that females are more resilient to stress because of their independence.

7. Cockatoo

  • Species: Eolophus roseicapilla (Rose-breasted or Galah), Cacatau sulphurea (Yellow-crested), Cacatau tenuirostris (Long-billed corella)
  • Length: 18 inches
  • Weight: 16 to 26 ounces
  • Vocabulary: 10–50 words
  • Lifespan: 30–50 years
Cockatoo Pet Talking Birds
Cockatoo pet talking birds (Image: iStock/redchanka)

With the proper training, cockatoos are intelligent, social, and have a large vocabulary. Cockatoos aren’t the best talkers, but they can learn a few words and phrases. It depends on where they live and how they are trained.

Also, some species, like the Yellow-Crowned, are better at learning how to talk than others. Even though they don’t have as much vocabulary as some other talking bird species, cockatoos are not quiet. People say that these birds are some of the loudest parrots.

8. Macaws

  • Species: Ara macao
  • Length: 30 to 36 inches
  • Weight: 28 to 46 ounces
  • Vocabulary: 50–100 words
  • Lifespan: 40–50 years

Macaws are the largest parrot species, and Hyacinth Macaws can often be 40 inches long. These birds are smart, active, and loud, which can be hard for new owners to handle. Some species, like the blue-and-gold macaw, are known to learn new words more quickly than others.

These birds are smart, active, and loud, which can be hard for new owners to handle. Even though they don’t speak as clearly as other pet talking birds, they’re louder than them. They have the special ability to imitate different sounds and also sing songs.

9. Cockatiel

  • Species: Psittacula derbiana
  • Length: 12–14 inches
  • Weight: 2.5 to 5 ounces
  • Vocabulary: up to 90 words
  • Lifespan: 10–20 years
Best Talking Birds For Beginners
Best talking birds for beginners Cockatiel (Image: birdfact)

Smaller parrot species may not have the vocabulary of larger parrots, but that doesn’t mean they can’t learn to talk. It has been documented that certain cockatiels, given two years, may retain up to 90 words. Your bird’s level of talkativeness, though, will likely rely on its character.

Most cockatiels begin their vocalizations by copying sounds, but with enough repetition, you should be able to learn your cockatiel to repeat simple sentences. Because of its calm and kind demeanor, a cockatiel is an excellent option for families with young children. Remember that their life is about 10–15 years, significantly lower than that of more giant parrot species.

10. Derbyan Parakeet

  • Species: Psittacula derbiana
  • Length: 10–20 inches
  • Weight: 8 to 11 ounces
  • Vocabulary: 20–50 words
  • Lifespan: 20–30 years
Birds That Talk Like Humans Derbyan Parakeet
Birds that talk like humans Derbyan Parakeet (Image: bruev / Getty Images)

The big, sexually dimorphic Derbyan Parakeet is one of the parakeet species. They’re pretty active and curious birds, making training difficult. They are known to be loud, but with proper training, they can also learn several dozens of words.

Compared to other pet talking birds, their vocabulary is less, but their clear pronunciation makes up for it. These are the rarest birds, and the illegal hunting of them in the wild has caused their population to decrease rapidly.

11. Hill Myna

  • Species: Gracula religiosa
  • Length: 10–20 inches
  • Weight: 5 to 10 ounces
  • Vocabulary: 50–100 words
  • Lifespan: 15–20 years
What Birds Can Talk The Best - Hill Myna
what birds can talk the best – Hill Myna (Image: eBird)

Even though it’s not a parrot, the Hill Myna possesses a vocabulary that’s on par with many other talking bird species. They can mimic human speech in the same tone and timbre, which is almost unnerving in its precision.

They have vocalizations, including whistling, shrieking, and speech similar to a human’s. They can easily adapt to new surroundings despite being indigenous to Africa, India, Southeast Asia, and Indonesia. The number of people keeping them as pets is rising quickly.

Raising birds capable of speech takes a lot of work and dedication, since the more clever they are, the more demanding they are. But this may also be a personally enlightening experience! A bird that can communicate with you may significantly reduce stress and brighten your day thanks to its endearing antics and beautiful melodies.

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Canvas Personalized‘s selection of the top pet birds to have conversations have ended. Which talking bird species described above left the most impression on you? Choose African Greys as your pet if you want a large, intelligent bird with superior language talents. Yet even little marvels may occasionally surprise you. Hence, Budgerigars may be the best choice for novices who want a little, low-maintenance bird that can converse.