Can A Conure Parrot Talk?

  • Time to read: 9 min.

Have you ever heard of talking birds? If not, these are birds that mimic human speech. Whether these birds have a cognitive understanding of what they say is still a debate in the scientific community. 

Talking birds don’t all speak the same. There are those with the ability to mimic an extensive vocabulary, while others can only handle a few words. As per references, the first talking bird was in the 5th Century BC. The bird referred to as Bitaccus could have been a parakeet. Conures can also talk with the proper training. (Source)

How Do Birds Learn To Talk?

Birds in the wild can learn human speech through cultural transmission. It is especially true when once in captivity, birds are integrated into the wild flock. A good example is the wild cockatoos of Australia. 

Parrots and songbirds are two major bird groups known for mimicking human speech. Owners of pet birds can also teach their birds how to speak. This sound mimicking phenomenon has been observed in Australia and Sydney. Parrots have uttered phrases like ‘What’s happening’ and ‘Hello Darling’. 

For owners who own conures as pets, this may beg the question, ‘Can Conure Parrots talk?’

These medium-sized parrots are known for constantly seeking attention. They pull stunts such as swaying and hanging upside down, a character that has earned them the title clowns of the parrot world. When it comes to speech, however, they aren’t the best talkers. (Source)

Is It Common For Conures To Talk?

Parrots are associated with speech. Therefore, it’s no surprise that most people want parrots that can talk. However, parrot lovers proudly make it known that these feathery friends have much to give other than the ability to talk. (Source)

Those that own Conures will most likely begin by describing them as fun, energetic and affectionate. That said, while Conures aren’t the best at talking, they aren’t the worst. It’s common for some to articulate a few words while others have a more extensive vocabulary.

How Do Conure Parrots Talk?

A survey taken at Talking-poll to provide insight into the vocabulary of the Conure parrot indicated that more than 80 percent spoke a little. The Aratinga Conures stood out as having an average vocabulary. Male Conure’s vocabulary, on the other hand, ranked lower. (Source)

Other than talking, Conures are known for making different sounds, such as contact calls. It’s fascinating that these birds don’t have vocal cords but can produce speech. Human beings rely on vocal cords to speak. Parrots, on the other hand, rely on the trachea. They can make sounds by changing their shape and depth. (Source)

Why Is My Conure So Vocal?

Parrots, in general, are pretty vocal. Unfortunately, human beings try to quiet them when instead, they should try to accept some degree of noise. When birds are vocal, they are trying to communicate. In the wild, birds find safety and comfort in flocks. It allows them to socialize. 

When in a home set-up, the family is the bird’s flock. They will, therefore, try to communicate with their flock just as they would in the wild. Given that none of us speaks parrot, it becomes difficult to understand them. (Source)

Contact Calls

Contact calls are widespread. For example, when parrots get separated from their flock while in the wild, they try to locate the other parrots by calling out. When human flocks go to school or work, captive birds tend to feel abandoned. They call out to make sure everything is okay.

When bird calls get louder, they can turn into screams. It causes humans to come running into rooms with concern. The bird learns from this that they have to scream to be with their flock, which isn’t ideal. Conure owners should teach the birds a unique contact call they can identify to minimize separation anxiety. 

Other Reasons

Conures can also be vocal and noisy due to other reasons. These include injury, boredom, illness, or joy. They love attention, and too much time from their owners can also cause them to be noisy.

Conures who were once quieter then suddenly are noisier could be because they are hormonal. Especially if it’s followed up by regurgitating and head bobbing. Warmer temperatures can trigger such behavior. It is usually a phase that ends with time. (Source)

Which Conures Can Talk?

Which Conures Can Talk?
Sun conure (Aratinga solstitialis) bird, also called a sun parakeet
  1. Blue-Crowned Conure

If looking for a conure for apartment living, the blue-crowned Conure is NOT for you. This bird can shriek pretty loudly, a factor that can be disturbing for neighbors. With consistent training sessions, these birds can learn different words and phrases. However, they prefer to mimic other home sounds, such as an alarm clock beeping. (Source)

  1. Green-Cheek Conure

Green-cheek conure is also known to talk. Like the blue-crowned conures, they need patience and consistency to talk. Their owners should therefore be prepared to put in the time. Not all Green-cheek conures pick up the talking ability. Therefore, owners shouldn’t be discouraged if it doesn’t happen. Unlike the blue-crowned Conure, these birds are quieter. It makes them ideal for apartment dwellers. (Source)

  1. Sun-Conures

Sun conures are beautifully colorful and are very common as pets. They have mischievous personalities and bright plumage that are bound to attract anyone. As they chatter, one can detect a bit of talking. Their attempt to mimic human speech is somewhat robotic. (Source)

Like the blue-crowned Conure, it’s common for these birds to imitate other sounds without training. These include telephones and microwaves.

Which Conure Is The Most Talkative?

The most talkative Conure hasn’t precisely been established. However, there are several species known to be more talkative than others. The Aratinga Conure species, for example, have been known to take top spots when it comes to vocabulary. They include Halfmoon, white-eyed, and cherry-headed conures. (Source)

The blue-crowned conures are also known for their loud and vocal nature. While these birds are not the most talkative of parrots, they are certainly more vocal among the conure species. (Source)

At What Age Do Conures Start Talking?

Conures don’t start speaking when they are born. Just like human beings, they take time. Conures such as the Green-cheek begin speaking at 2-3 months old. 

However, there isn’t a set and stone time when Conures start talking. They each start talking at their own pace. Some take as little as three months, while others take as long as 12 months. The sooner this ability is taught, the better. 

The best time to incorporate this skill is when the Conures are still young and likely to be more receptive and pick up the skill much faster. Once Conures get older, it’s much more challenging to get them to learn new things. 

It doesn’t mean that when they are grown, you won’t be able to teach them how to talk. It just means that these birds will require more training. Given that Conures aren’t natural talkers, it’s safer to start when they are younger. (Source)

At What Age Are Conures Fully Grown?

Conures are fully grown when they are between one and three years. Some mature earlier, and those mature much later. At this age, they become sexually mature and start showing attraction towards the opposite sexes. Breeding is, therefore, appropriate at this age. (Source)

Most conures become unproductive after nine years of being sexually mature. They continue to grow until they are 25 years. It means those kept as pets will become part of the family for a very long time if they receive the proper care. In the wild, however, the lifespan is reduced due to environmental conditions and predation.  

Which Words Can Conures Say?

Training Conures, or any bird for that matter, can be a demanding task. However, if the pet and owner duo is compatible, the task will most likely be more fun than daunting. Therefore, the most essential thing that Conure Owners do is to create a bond between themselves and their bird for rewarding training.

Some smart Conures can mimic speech without any form of training. They learn with context. Words such as bye-bye when one goes off to work or I love you are some of the words they are likely to pick up. (Source)

Owners of talking parrots are often unsure what words they should start with when training their parrots on how to speak. The best way is to start with the basics. It helps determine the learning capacity and imitation of the bird. (Source

Parrot Owners Can Start With These Words And Phrases

  1. Hello

Most parrot owners start with the word ‘hello’. The word hello is no coincidence. It is the best pick because it’s short and easy enough for birds to articulate.  

  1. Pet And Family Names

Another way to get parrots to speak fast is by teaching them their name. It is a word they will constantly hear and will be easier for them to grasp. Once they learn their name, owners can proceed to teach them the names of their family members. 

  1. Pretty Bird

Owners should focus on starting with single words before proceeding to phrases. The gradual change from one word to two terms will make learning easier for Conures.

One of the common phrases used by pet owners is ‘pretty bird’. It is a short phrase that birds find interesting. 

What Sounds Do Conures Make?

As mentioned before, Conures aren’t the best talkers. While they may have a limited human vocabulary, they are pretty talented in sound effects. They mimic everyday human and household noises. These include sneezes, laughter, and other not-so-polite sounds. (Source) 

The Nanday Conure is known to reproduce the timbres and tones of human conversations. They don’t necessarily produce the actual words. They sound like babies when they attempt to speak. It may happen when one is having in-person or phone conversations. 

The other sounds that conures make include whistling, quacking, and chirping. When conures chirp, they could be trying to communicate several things. These include being happy or content. Their quacking sounds like grunting, purring, or grinding. They do this when experiencing mild distress. (Source)

Conures are social birds. In the wild, they live in flocks. To communicate with one another, these birds whistle. When in captivity, they whistle once an owner leaves a room. This I to confirm that all is well. 

How Do I Teach My Conure To Talk?

Pet owners ready to have their birds talk can follow many steps to ensure they speak. However, they should remember that some birds may catch on slow, others fast, and some may never talk. The significant steps to be taken include:

  • Building a relationship with the bird
  • Preparing a training schedule
  • Providing the right environment
  • Starting with easy words
  • Having daily sessions 

(Source)

Build A Relationship With Your Pet

For a great relationship with your bird, ensure it receives the right food and shelter. You should meet all the basic needs. Recommended food for the bird includes pellets, fresh fruits, seeds, and vegetables. The bird’s cage should be big enough to house perches and toys and support moving around.

Also, pet owners shouldn’t start training immediately when the pet gets home. They should give the birds time to familiarize themselves with the new surroundings. Pet owners should also speak gently to the bird to build trust. 

A training schedule will be essential to ensure training is regular. It is better to have a training session every day. The training location should also be favorable. It should be quiet and free from children and pets. Basic training should start with simple words; later, you can introduce phrases.

Conclusion

Having a parrot can be exciting. A talking parrot can bring the necessary fun and chatter to a home. To train conures, parrot owners should practice patience and consistency for success. 

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