Looking for a pet that could actually talk to you and in a language you can understand? Well this review will focus on some of the best parrot breeds for talking, as parrots are the most intelligent animal species with the ability to talk.
Parrots are just brilliant animals. With endless species scattered all over, we can only narrow it down to discussing the best parrot breeds for talking and those that will make for great companions without stressing out your life.
These birds are beautiful and have a level of intelligence that we can only marvel at and being able to comfortably outlive some of their owners as their life expectancy is quite incredible. Some parrots could live up to 100 years so by getting a parrot, you’re getting a friend for life.
Let’s look at our top 8 selections:
50 – 75 years
Grey coat with pale yellow eyes, black colored beak, wingspan of 50 cm, bright red tail.
5 – 10 years
Green abdomen with a green and black neck, yellow head, dark blue tail
50 – 60 years, with some living 70 – 90 years
Bright green in color, yellow nape along neck’s back, yellow forehead and crown, slashes of red in wing feathers
25 -30 years, with some living up to 50 years
Green coat, yellow under wings, blue tail while the males have a black rose ring around the necks.
30 – 50 years
Males: emerald green coat, blue and red under wings and orange beak.
Females: bright red coat, blue chest as well as tail and a black beak
40 – 80 years or more
Have a white coat, pale yellow on the wings as well as tail, black beak and a large beautiful white crest
20 – 30 years or more
Green coat on head, wings and body, grey cheeks, breast and throat, flight feathers are blue. This is the color for original Quakers as there are mutations in others
80 – 100 years
Green coat, blue feathers around beak, red and yellow patches on shoulders
The African Grey Parrot is without a doubt the most intelligent talking parrot globally. These parrots are found in the rain forests of West and Central Africa. The reason they rank top of the list of the Best Parrot Breed for Talking is due to their imitation and understanding of the human speech.
Their talking ability might be top notch but their relationship with their owner contributes as well and is essential in shaping that ability. In training and teaching the African Grey Parrot, treating them will go a long way in encouraging them and improving their talking ability. They are quite the smart ones as they can easily mimic different sounds as their weapon to fend off any predators by fooling them.
They are able to amass a lot of vocabulary amounting to hundreds of words with the best care and training of course. Even though these birds can basically communicate, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they understand what they are saying. Just like other talking birds, they get attached easily to their owner so be careful with them so as not to stress them out.
They live up to 50 years, with others living up to 80 years. As a result, they tend to outlive some of their owners resulting in traumatic rehoming severally. Not only are they very intelligent but they are very beautiful as well.
Length: 9 – 14 In
Weight: 300 – 550 g
Life Expectancy: 50 – 75 yrs.
Characteristics (Physical): Grey coat with pale yellow eyes, black colored beak, wingspan of 50 cm, bright red tail.
Budgerigar also known as Budgie is another intelligent bird originating from Australia. It might be quite small but it this breed of parrots achieved a Guinness World record of 1,728 words in the year 1995. The parrot that achieved this record was known as Puck.
However, not all budgies can live up to that but most of them can learn 300 to 500 words as well as sentences. Both male and female budgies are able to imitate their owners most repeated words and phrases but, the male budgies have been found to be better in saying more words and most importantly, saying them in the right tone.
One thing you want to keep in mind with budgies is that if you keep two or more budgies together, they will give you zero attention and will barely hear a word you say to them. This is simply because they are very social and in circumstances where they have their fellow budgies with them, they’re preference will definitely be towards their own kindred.
Simply because they love the company of their fellow mates doesn’t mean they always ignore their caretakers. On the contrary actually; they are very social in that if you only have one of them in your house, they will want to practice their vocabulary with you as leaving them alone with no interaction whatsoever stresses them out and unfortunately this could lead to a shorter lifespan.
Check out this video of Disco the Parakeet just to see how good these parrots are and can be. Note that budgies are green and yellow in color and any other colored budgie is basically a mutation. All original budgies are green and yellow.
Length: 5.9 – 7.9 In
Weight: 25 – 36 g
Life Expectancy: 5 – 10 yrs.
Characteristics (Physical): Green abdomen with a green and black neck, yellow head, dark blue tail.
The amazon parrots do tend to be really good talkers and adding to the many different types, we focus on the Yellow Naped Amazon Parrot. It is wildly known for its great ability to contextualize human speech with amazing clarity.
They are clever and quite witty and are perfect for anyone looking to form a deep bond with their pet. They love being the center of attention and may not be the best pets for families with children. This is simply because they tend to have periods of aggression and its safer not to have that around your kids. This happens when they reach sexual maturity and this phase lasts up to 2 years where they will bite and show other aggressive tendencies.
When it comes to talking they are very intelligent and when properly trained can develop large vocabularies. They can sing as well and are generally great at repeating what their owners say. You want to be careful however, as these parrots tend to register the things that you wouldn’t want being repeated. They hold on to this and will keep repeating them until… well until they have something else to. So don’t day it if you wouldn’t want it on repeat.
In the wild, the Yellow Naped Amazon is able mimic other sounds especially of larger animals to fend off their predators which is a defense mechanism we see works to safeguard these pretty birds.
Length: 12 – 15 In
Weight: Up to 1 lb
Life Expectancy: 50 – 60 yrs, with some living 70 – 90 years
Characteristics (Physical): Bright green in color, yellow nape along neck’s back, yellow forehead and crown, slashes of red in wing feathers.
The Indian Ringneck are a sub-species tracing their origin back to Ceylon. You will now find it in India, Pakistan, Western and Southern Sudan as well as the Middle East where they dominate in the wild. They have a reputation of not being the easiest to train and can be quite nippy.
These small parrots can learn up to 250 words and can have the ability to mimic human voices as well as pick words up from music. This ability is however depended on their interaction with their owners. The more frequent the interaction, the better they get at mastering words and phrases.
They do get bored quickly and when this happens and when they are left unattended they get irritable and could result in destructive behaviors. They can get out of hand for some owners especially during their adolescence period where they experience a bluffing stage.
Despite their reputation, they are quite charming and have a high pitched and yet sweet. While they aren’t the most compassionate, they do make for great companions with the females being more affectionate than the males.
Length: 14 – 17 In
Weight: 115 g
Life Expectancy: 25 -30 yrs, with some living up to 50 years
Characteristics (Physical): Green coat, yellow under wings, blue tail while the males have a black rose ring around the necks.
These beautiful parrots are among the most popular choice for pet parrots due to their charming personalities, beautiful colors, intelligence and their loveable nature. Their origin traces to the Solomon Islands but can now be found in New Guinea, Northern Australia, the Moluccas as well as in Indonesia.
Compared to a few parrots we have reviewed so far the Eclectus Parrot is by far the friendliest and most intelligent bird species. They are gentle and tranquil and really enjoy any bonding time their owner they can get and don’t mind routines as they thrive on them.
They are great at mimicking human voices, words and can even learn to sing entire songs. The songs they hear around them are mimicked in high quality and can even fool their own ownners. That’s how good these parrots are. Unlike the yellow naped Amazon, the Eclectus parrot repeats what it hears at proper situations and both the male and females have beautiful melodious voices.
Length: 17 – 20 In
Weight: 375 – 550 g
Life Expectancy: 30 – 50 yrs.
Characteristics (Physical): Males: emerald green coat, blue and red under wings and orange beak. Females: bright red coat, blue chest as well as tail and a black beak.
Here is another species full of affection and make great pets for people. They form great bonds with their owners and have been known to be cuddly. As you can already gather, they need a lot of affection which generally translates to you devoting more time to them. The cockatoo species vary across the world. To mention but a few, you have rose-breasted cockatoo, long-billed cockatoo which are better at talking and the yellow crested cockatoo.
They are intelligent birds that are able to mimic speech as well as a range of other sounds well. Their speech ability is dependent on the training they get from their owners. They do tend to repeat words spoken by their caretakers.
They require special care as they tend to mimic what they hear and when there is change in tone, it can get a little confusing for them. Teaching them new words might be a bit slow but their mimicking ability is great.
While they aren’t the greatest talkers, they make great pets but can sometimes get easily excited and this can be a bit of a challenge as at such moments, they don’t do too well with kids around. If you’re generally someone who gets easily attached to animals and don’t mind dedicating time to them, then a cockatoo is a great option.
Length: 12 – 27 In
Weight: 450 – 750 g
Life Expectancy: 40 – 80 yrs or more
Characteristics (Physical): Generally, they have a white coat, pale yellow on the wings as well as tail, black beak and a large beautiful white crest.
Monk Parakeets are also known as quaker parrots and they are native to South America but can be found in Southern Brazil, Bolivia as well as Central Argentina. They prefer to live in woodlands. They have strong personalities that make them out to seem like large birds in little bodies.
Like the cockatoo, they require care and the right training to get them mimicking the human speech. They are good at mimicking and repeating what they hear from their caretakers as well as what they hear from their surroundings. Associating certain actions with the words one is trying to teach the parrot, goes a long way in helping the quaker parrot understand better and is able to use the words leant at proper situations.
Unfortunately, or fortunately, the Quaker parrot is illegal in some parts of the USA since feral flocks have gotten quite invasive so if you’d like to have one of these beauties for yourself, make sure you check with your local laws.
Length: 11 – 12 In
Weight: 90 – 150 g
Life Expectancy: 20 – 30 yrs or more
Characteristics (Physical): Green coat on head, wings and body, grey cheeks, breast and throat, flight feathers are blue. This is the color for original Quakers as there are mutations in others.
The first Blue Fronted Amazon was first recorded in the year 1758 in the zoological records with wider populations being found in Bolivia, Paraguay, Northern Argentina as well as Bolivia. This beautiful bird is named after the distinctive blue marking on its head.
For these birds to speak perfectly they require a lot of training from their owners. They are quite affectionate and tend to form strong bonds with one person only. They are good at mimicking other human voices and can talk for hours if trained right. Another plus is their beautiful melodious voices.
Length: 15 -17 In
Weight: 14 -15 oz
Life Expectancy: 80 – 100 yrs.
Characteristics (Physical): Green coat, blue feathers around beak, red and yellow patches on shoulders.
Tips when teaching your parrot learn how to talk
To help improve the ability of your parrot to talk well, you need to know how to do it the right way to get maximum results and that is why we have come up with a few tips to get you started off on the right track.
- The first tip is of course not saying words you wouldn’t want you parrot repeating again. As we’ve seen with a few parrot breeds, they tend to hand on to those words or phrases you wouldn’t want them saying and then will repeat those for quite some time.
- Always reward your parrot for speaking even if you’re not necessarily in a training session to encourage them to keep learning
- Know your parrot as there are some species that will rarely learn how to talk and you might be surprised to find that parrots that are said to talk, don’t necessarily talk and when they do, it’s rare. This is normal so don’t blame yourself or the parrot; it happens.
- Practice patience when it comes to teaching your parrot how to talk as some are fast leaners and others are not. The point however, is that getting your parrot to talk will be worth it eventually.
- The best talkers in the parrot species, are really good at mimicking and therefore will repeat anything they hear; you, the radio or even the TV. Make sure of what you’re watching before your parrot laches on to a word that could bring trouble afterward.
- If your parrot is acting up and won’t heed to what you’re saying, avoid shouting at them as this will frighten them and seeing as generally all birds are sensitive, it could affect them and stress them out.
Frequently Asked Questions
Which Amazon parrot is the best talker?
A few Amazon parrots are great talkers with the blue fronted Amazon or even the Yellow naped being really great talkers. However, the parrot that wins the crown in this one is the Yellow Naped Amazon. This is because it is known for its development of huge vocabulary and the ability to combine words and form sentences that are clear with the right tonal variations.
Can parrots understand what they say?
This is a common question asked especially by parrot owners. Why spend ages training the bird for nothing right? Well a research was conducted in the year 2011 by researchers at the University of Georgia who worked with the African Grey Parrot to try and answer just that. They found that the parrot they were working with, Cosmos, was able to alter the phrases based on the surroundings. If in the room the parrot was in there were no people, then cosmos would say something like, ‘where are you?’ and ‘I’m here’. Alternatively, when the room had people in it the he would say, ‘I want to play’. So in a sense, parrots do understand to some extent what they are saying.
Why do parrots learn how to swear so quickly?
Parrots are intelligent creatures and just based on your emphasis on a word or phrase, a parrot is able to pick it up quicker and thus it gets stuck. It’s almost as if you’re highlighting importance or alertness. You might not even do it consciously, but parrots are keen to note the emphasis made.
To sum it all up, the best parrot breeds for talking will undoubtedly be the African Grey Parrot for this review but we can say that there are equally just as good parrots out there that will be great talkers and companions based on what you’re looking for. Do not underestimate the intelligence that these small creatures have.