Top 10 ‘Talking’ Birds (Slideshow)

by PetMD

Some people want a pet that they can exercise and play with, and some people want a pet that will help keep them warm at night. Still other people want a companion — an animal that will be an unquestioning, faithful friend through thick and thin.

That’s all good for them, but there are those of us who want a companion that we can talk to. We want a voice at the end of a long work day welcoming us home with, “Hello, darling, how was your day?” For people who wish to have that type of companion in the form of an animal, a talking bird fits the bill very nicely.

However, not just any talking bird will do. Some birds speak quietly, while others will scream at the top of their lungs. The type of bird one chooses must be paired suitably with the environment in which one lives – house or apartment; metropolitan or suburban. Most neighbors will not want to hear a perfect imitation of a scene from a horror film. At any time of day. But, perhaps you live in the countryside and the only audio comfort that needs to be taken into consideration is your own. In that case, you will need to decide how much noise you can handle through the day.

All talking birds are great fun to have as companions, but some are better at verbalizing and enunciating their words than others. Some species have better memory than others and are able to store hundreds, even thousands of words into their little bird brains. Then there are the select few, like the African Grey, that are able to listen to people talk, discern the proper context and situation, and hold a reasonable conversation (reasonable within the context of being a bird).

There are even birds that will break out of their norm and surprise everyone with its highly capable memory and language skills. It is those extraordinary birds that are often showcased on shows like Animal Planet.

We based our choices for this list on the special abilities of species within the bird classes. Amazons, for example, are a large group, but only a handful are known for being talented with speech. And then there are some species that can talk, but they tend to be garbled, or they are known to spend more time screeching than they do speaking. These species were not included.

One word of caution: although we love talking birds here at petMD, we must stress that it is important to choose a bird as a living companion because you love birds, not because you want to impress people with your talking bird. Even at the highest level of ability, there are still some birds that will not talk, no matter what you do or how early you train. Just as there are quiet, shy people, there are quiet and shy birds. And, just as with people, some birds are smarter than others. Do your research before adopting a bird and find a breeder who can introduce you to the breeding pair, so that you at least have an idea of the capabilities of the bird you will be adopting.

10. Budgerigar

Also known as the Budgie, or Parakeet, this common little bird is capable of learning a large number of phrases and songs. Their voice tends to be low and not always defined, and males tend to train better than females.

See Also: 15 Incredibly Beautiful Birds

Image Credit: Eric Bryan / via Flickr

9. Monk Parakeet

Also called the Quaker Parakeet, this colorful little bird is actually a small parrot. They are known for being very clever and social, developing large vocabularies of phrases and words.

8. Blue-Fronted Amazon

If you want a companion for life, this is a good fit. The Blue-Fronted can live for up to 100 years or more. They have an excellent speaking voice, with a strong ability to mimic human voices.

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

7. Indian Ringneck

Very clever little birds, Indian Ringnecks can develop a large vocabulary, and speak very clearly in sentences. Not so much for mimicking the pitch of a human voice, they more often speak in their own bird voices, though they can carry the mood of the phrase.

Image Credit: Challiyan via Flickr.

6. Eclectus

Known for being especially gender dimorphous — the male is green and the female bright red — this parrot is able to verbalize distinctly and mimic the tone and mood of language. While its capabilities are strong, these abilities depend entirely on training from an early age.

5. Yellow-Crowned Amazon

Considered to be nearly as good as the Yellow-Naped, but with less of a tendency to nip.

4. Double Yellow Head Amazon

Closely following the Yellow-Naped, this bird has an excellent ability to mimic human voices and a love for song.

Image Credit: goobiebilly via Wikimedia Commons

3. Hill Myna

This pretty little black bird has an amazing capacity for mimicking human voices, with a varied range of pitch and tonality.

2. Yellow-Naped Amazon

Of the Amazon parrots, the Yellow-Naped is the best known for its speaking abilities. They love to sing and are highly intelligent, with an uncanny ability to mimic human speech and cadence.

Image Credit: Matt edmonds via Wikimedia Commons

1. African Grey

The African Grey is widely considered to be the smartest of the talking birds, and one of the most intelligent in the animal kingdom overall. Some experts say they approach the ability to speak and relate concepts on the level of a human toddler. Of the two standard “domesticated” species, the Timneh African Grey tends to learn to speak at a younger age than the Congo African Grey.

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Top 10 ‘Talking’ Birds originally appeared on


Glennis Whitney
Glennis W2 years ago

Beautiful birds, beautiful pictures, all so beautiful, thank you for sharing.

Glennis Whitney
Glennis W2 years ago

All so awesome, thank you for sharing

Carla Thames
Carla T3 years ago

My first parakeet, Chatterbox, was amazing! My friend I was talking to on the phone thought it was my mom in the background. I was like, "Nope. That's my bird on my shoulder." LOL

Fi T.
Past Member 3 years ago

Listen to and treasure them like ourselves

Past Member 4 years ago

I had one budgerigar when I was a young girl. He was an incredibly loving little chap. I still miss him.

Dave C.
David C4 years ago

wonderful, but could we get one page please

Natasha Salgado
Past Member 4 years ago

What amazing birds they these all are! Thanks

Daphne H.
Daphne H4 years ago

Aww, I wanted to HEAR them

Terry V.
Terry V4 years ago


Duane B.
.5 years ago

Thank you for sharing.