Do you wonder what the extent of the vocabulary of a Quaker parrot could be? Did you know that Quaker parrots are one of the most intelligent birds according to Bird Talk Magazine? While they are not quite as smart as African Grey parrots, they are close. Here are training tips and a list of vocabulary words your bird should be able to learn.

Training Tips

Try these tips to train your parrot quickly and easily:

  • Be consistent. Train the bird at the same time and in the same location at each lesson.
  • Two or three short training sessions daily give better results than one long session, and your parrot won’t get cranky or bored.
  • Young Quaker parrots learn to talk the fastest. Most Quaker parrots start to talk when they are about six months old.
  • Parrots learn quickest from hearing their owner’s voices rather than recorded voices. However, if you do want to use a recording to help your bird learn to talk, consider recording your voice and playing it back for him rather than buying a commercially prepared training DVD.
  • Quaker parrots mimic quickest the person to whom they are bonded

Who's a Pretty Bird?

Quaker Parrot(72007)
Credit: Monk Parrot or Quaker Parrot by Alex Nelson under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons

The Vocabulary of a Quaker Parrot

Quaker parrots are incredibly smart, quick-witted talking birds and over time the extent of your parrot’s vocabulary will grow beyond your wildest imagination. Parrots learn and use new words continually. This can be extremely exciting, particularly when a bird is learning to talk. However, the same phrase or word that is so entertaining today may lose its charm if the bird uses it incessantly, so take care when choosing the words to teach your pet.

Here are some examples of typical words in the vocabulary of a Quaker parrot:

  • Hello (hi,) good-bye
  • Good morning, good night
  • Good bird, good boy (girl)
  • Pretty bird, pretty boy (girl)
  • We’re home
  • Give me a kiss or give us a kiss
  • I love you
  • What’s up?
  • Come here
  • What are you doing?
  • Yum-yum

In addition to teaching your parrot some or all of these words and phrases, teach your bird his name and address as well as your name. Quaker parrots are notorious little escape artists, and if your bird escapes, his ability to recite this information could be the deciding factor in getting him back.

How to Teach a Parrot to Talk

Teach Your Bird to Talk

Here's how to teach your Quaker parrot to talk in six easy steps:

  1. Speak clearly and enunciate the words. Start with the suggested vocabulary given above or words of your choice.
  2. Keep a list of the bird's working vocabulary and add new words daily.
  3. Work in a location with no other sounds or distractions.
  4. If more than one person is training the parrot, the trainers should work in separate sessions.
  5. Talk to your bird, not at him. Engage him in normal household conversation; for instance, say “hello” or “how are you” when you enter his room and tell him good-bye when you leave.
  6. Give him enthusiastic praise whenever he repeats a word or phrase that you are teaching but do not reinforce inappropriate language.

Yoshi the Talking Quaker

Final Tips

In addition to learning words and simple phrases, Quaker parrots can learn complete sentences or short songs and poems. Most Quaker parrots love to whistle and sing. Put your bird’s cage close to the television or a music source and watch how he responds. Just remember, you may get tired of endless repetitions of whatever song catches his fancy.

Now that you know the answer to the question “How do you teach a Quaker parrot to talk?” just imagine how impressed and envious your friends and family will be when they hear your parrot chattering and singing. However, in addition to being a source of entertainment, being able to talk provides mental stimulation for your pet bird and benefits its overall health.

Being able to converse with your parrot enriches your relationship and deepens the bond between you. Finally, it’s fun, easy to do, and a great boredom-eraser.

If you would like information on the best type of cage for a Quaker Parrot, be sure to read "Cage Guide for Parrot Owners" by IceBerg2.