Dr. Laurie: Parrots can be really phenomenal talkers. There are some species that actually talk better than others. African gray parrots are famous for their ability to talk. Amazon parrots can talk to, as cockatoos, even some little birds can talk. The best way to get a bird to talk is to actually talk to it.
Birds sometimes will not start to speak until sometimes a year of age for some of the bigger birds, but the more that you repeat. The more that you use the same tone for words. The more they'll listen and words will go in. There are some ways to actually get birds to talk a little more. What would you do to get a bird to talk, Sarah?
Sarah: A lot of people actually tell me that they leave the television or the radio on for their birds and they start to actually pick up idle conversation off of television shows and radio shows. They'll hear their birds actually repeat things that they've heard. What I do with my birds is I say the same thing to them, when I walk by them every single day and night, I'll pick one phrase or one word. I'll go by, I say it to them every morning and every night or during the day. One day I'll walk by and they say it to me, instead of me saying it to them. It's actually really neat. It's very satisfying.
Dr. Laurie: You have to be careful though, because remember, anything that comes out of your mouth could come out of your parrot's mouth. So even if you're not intentionally teaching the bird to talk, you might be saying something that you may not want to hear back, particularly have your kids hear back.
So you've got to be a little careful, because everything that you say goes in there somewhere. Even if the parrot is not repeating it back to you at that moment, it will come out at some point.
You can also reward your birds if they; give them a little treat; if they repeat back to you what you want them to say. Parrots can be a lot of fun. They talk and it's one of the wonderful things about having a bird.