Top Ten 'Talking' Birds

PetMD Editorial
By PetMD Editorial
Published: October 20, 2011
Image: Lana Langlois / Shutterstock
Polly Want a Cracker?

There are many 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?" However, not just any talking bird will do. Some birds speak quietly, while others will scream at the top of their lungs. Here are 10 "talking" birds that will fit the bill nicely.

Image: Yuri Shirokov / Shutterstock
#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.

Image: awayukin / 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.

Image: Geanina Bechea / Shutterstock
#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: Eric Bryan / Flickr
#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: Jill Lang / Shutterstock
#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.

Image: Giancarlo Liguori / Shutterstock
#5 Yellow-Crowned Amazon

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

Image: mguertin / Flickr
#4 Double Yellow Head Amazon

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

Image: Eugen Wais / Shutterstock
#3 Hill Myna

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

Image: Saurabh13 / Shutterstock
#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: fivespots / Shutterstock
#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.