What Type Of Birds Talk


Birds are fascinating creatures, and one of the most intriguing aspects of their behavior is communication. Many species of birds are known to talk or make vocalizations that mimic human speech. These talking birds fascinate pet owners and bird enthusiasts alike, but what type of birds talk?

Some of the most popular talking birds include parrots, African grey parrots, Amazon parrots, and budgerigars or budgies. Each of these species has the ability to learn and mimic human speech to varying degrees. Other species such as crows, ravens, and magpies have also been observed mimicking sounds in their environment.

It’s important to note that not all birds can talk like parrots do. While many species can produce a range of chirps, squawks, and whistles, only a select few have the ability to learn and repeat words like humans do.

Pro Tip: Talking birds require patience and training from their owners to develop their language skills properly.

People say parrots can mimic human speech, but have they met my ex? That macaw could give her a run for her money.

Birds that can mimic human speech

African Grey Parrot

This parrot species is known for its exceptional ability to mimic human speech. The African Grey Parrot has an impressive vocabulary and can use words in context, showing high-level cognitive abilities. These birds are native to the rainforests of West and Central Africa, where they live in flocks and feed on a variety of nuts, seeds, fruits, and insects.

In addition to their speech capabilities, African Grey Parrots are also known for their long lifespans which can exceed 50 years in captivity. They have complex social systems with strong pair bonds and display a wide range of behaviors that suggest advanced levels of intelligence.

It’s fascinating to note that researchers have discovered some evidence of emotional attachment between African Grey Parrots and their human caretakers, adding an extraordinary level of depth to our understanding of this bird species.

According to National Geographic, an African Grey Parrot named Alex was able to perform basic arithmetic functions by correctly counting up to six objects at a time. This groundbreaking research shows the exceptional cognitive abilities possessed by these parrots.

Watch out, Amazon’s got more than just Prime – their parrots can also deliver a killer impersonation of your mom.

Amazon Parrots

The parrots from the Amazon basin are an effulgent example of vocal learning among non-human beings. These birds can mimic human speech with remarkable accuracy and fluency, thanks to their cognitive abilities and sophisticated vocal system.

  • Amazon parrots have a strong social bond that facilitates vocal communication.
  • These birds can repeat words, phrases, and sentences they have heard from humans.
  • Their mimicking ability depends on the level of exposure to human language.
  • Amazon parrots use mimicry for multiple purposes like securing mate or expressing emotions.
  • Their vocal complexity is highly comparable to that of songbirds and some marine mammals.
  • The ability to mimic human speech makes them highly sought after pets worldwide.

Moreover, Amazon parrots have a unique feature where each individual has distinct voice modulation which is recognizable only to its group members. They also have an incredible capacity for developing various dialects, further marking their sophisticated communication systems.

Once I met a couple petting their Amazon Parrot in the park. As soon as they introduced me to it by name, the bird started greeting me with warm ‘hellos’ before indulging into a full-on conversation comprising jokes and phrases. Its happy, audacious attitude was infectious, making me envy their owners who had such entertaining company every day. Cockatoos may mimic human speech, but let’s be real, they’ll never match the witty banter of a drunk uncle at a family gathering.


Birds of the Cockatoo family possess a unique ability to mimic human speech and sounds with remarkable accuracy. These vocal learners use their strong beaks and versatile tongues to imitate a wide range of sounds, including words, phrases, and even musical tunes. Their vocal repertoire enables them to communicate with their owners effectively and amuse them with their playful antics.

Cockatoos are known for their uncanny ability to imitate not only human speech but also other environmental sounds such as telephone rings and car horns. They are popular pets due to their playful personalities and linguistic abilities. These birds can learn new words relatively quickly by listening to mimicked sounds repeatedly. Owners must spend enough time interacting with their feathered friends consistently to maintain and improve the bird’s talking skills.

Cockatoos possess distinct personalities, varying in behaviour from lively extroverts to introverted shy birds. Each Cockatoo breed has its unique traits that determine how well it adapts and interacts with its owner. For example, the Sulphur-crested Cockatoo is known for being an excellent talker and showoff while the Galah cockatoos tend to be more reserved in nature.

Pro Tip: Like humans have feelings, these emotional birds crave attention from their owners. A happy Cockatoo is more likely to mimic human speech more readily than one that feels neglected or ignored.

Budgerigars: the winged ones who can make you question if that last sentence was from the article or your own mind.


Small Parrots with the Ability to Mimic Human Speech

Among the bird species famous for their ability to mimic human speech, Budgerigars stand out in particular. These small parrots have vocal learning abilities that enable them to repeat what they hear from humans and other birds.

Common Name Budgerigar
Scientific Name Melopsittacus undulatus
Size 18-22 cm (7-8.5 in)
Habitat Arid landscapes of Australia

Apart from mimicking speech, Budgerigars are also known for their cheerful disposition and playful nature. They enjoy socializing with humans and require daily interaction to maintain their cognitive abilities.

To encourage your Budgerigar’s vocal prowess, provide them with a variety of sounds and words to learn from. You may use recordings or speak regularly to them. Additionally, rewarding them with treats whenever they make an effort to imitate your speech will further reinforce this behavior.

Move over, Siri and Alexa, Macaws are here to take over the voice-activated game.


As part of the list of birds that can mimic human speech, certain species of colorful Neotropical parrots called the large neotropical macaws stand out. These brilliant birds are not only known for their striking feathers but also for their incredible mimicry abilities.

A table showcasing the different types of Macaws, including scientific and common names, their natural habitat, and lifespan can aid in recognizing them better. For instance, the Blue-and-Yellow Macaw (Ara ararauna) is found in Brazil, Bolivia, and Paraguay and has a lifespan of up to 80 years.

Apart from mimicking human speech, macaws are intelligent animals with unique personalities. They form strong bonds with humans but can be challenging to care for as pets due to their dietary and social requirements.

A caretaker once reported that her pet macaw would answer phone calls by saying “hello” followed by whistling tunes until asked to hang-up. The bird had learned this behavior by observing its owner and rewarded itself with treats related to phone calls when succeeded. Such anecdotes prove how these birds can adapt human-like habits quickly.

Why settle for a parrot that just repeats what you say when you can have an Eclectus Parrot that mocks your every word?

Eclectus Parrots

Eclectic parrots are a species of parrots that possess the ability to mimic human speech and conversation. These beautiful creatures are known for their unique appearance and playful nature, making them popular pets among bird enthusiasts.

  • Eclectic parrots come in a wide range of vibrant colors.
  • They have a distinct physique with an average size of 35 cm and weight around 450 g.
  • These birds are native to Australia.
  • Eclectic parrots can live up to 50 years with great care and attention.
  • They require dedicated training and socialization to develop vocal abilities.

It’s worth noting that Eclectic Parrots display different personalities, depending on their gender. Male Eclectic Parrots tend to be more talkative than their female counterparts, which prefer creating sounds mimicking other species.

If you’re looking for a lively pet who can double up as an entertainer, then adopting an eclectic parrot is definitely worth considering. And if you don’t want to miss out on having such a playful companion by your side, it’s advisable to take action now before regret sets in when they are no longer available at your pet store or sanctuary.

Move aside, Adele. These birds have got vocal skills that would make even the greatest divas jealous.

Birds that communicate through songs and calls

American Robin

This avian species, commonly found in North America, emits a melodious tune that is admired by many. The Robin’s song consists of a series of clear whistles, warbles and trills.

The male species generally sings to mark their territory and attract potential mates during breeding season. Their voice can be heard from afar due to their high-pitched tone.

The American Robin is known for its ability to produce a variety of songs and calls, each having its own significance when used in communication. The bird communicates with fellow robins by using both songs and calls to signal food sources or predators as well as keeping each other updated with their whereabouts.

It is also interesting to note that the robin’s song gradually decreases in complexity as the breeding season begins to wane. This may signify changes in social dynamics within the flock.

Legend has it, Robins received their red breast after attempting to remove Christ’s thorns during crucifixion. As a result, they have been considered sacred birds since medieval times.

Move over Beyoncé, the Northern Cardinal‘s song is the real chart-topper of the bird world.

Northern Cardinal

The vivid red plumage of the male Northern Cardinal denotes admiration, love, and joy. He sings a series of high-pitched notes with intricate melodies that are unique to his species. His singing ability is an important part of courtship, indicating his physical health and strength. The female Cardinal responds by singing slower songs with simpler tunes.

Cardinals also use calls to communicate with each other. They have a distinctive chip note for alarming and warning about predators. Their purring sound signifies contentment and reassurance while communicating with their offspring.

These birds can be found perching high up on trees or shrubs in the eastern part of North America, Mexico, and Central America. They have adapted well to living close to humans and often visit backyards for food.

Fact: In 1933, the Northern Cardinal became the first bird protected by law (Migratory Bird Treaty Act).

Why join a choir when you can just be a European Starling and have the whole forest as your stage?

European Starling

This bird is known for their unique ability to mimic sounds and songs of other birds. They are a part of the Mimidae family which includes mockingbirds, thrashers, and catbirds. European Starlings have a complex vocal repertoire that consists of both songs and calls used for communication with other birds. Their songs are usually longer and more musical while their calls are shorter and sharper.

These birds often engage in singing contests where they mimic each other and compete to see who can produce the best sounds. They also communicate through their body language, such as wing waving or puffing up their feathers. European Starlings are invasive species in North America due to their adaptable nature, but they play an important role in controlling insect populations.

Pro Tip: If you want to attract European Starlings to your garden, provide them with nesting boxes or birdhouses with a 1.5-inch entrance hole. They prefer open fields with scattered trees or adjacent shrubs and can often be seen foraging on lawns for insects.

Why gossip with your avian neighbors when you can just listen to the alluring songs of a Carolina Wren?

Carolina Wren

This small brown bird goes by the common name of a wren. The Carolina Wren is a species of wren found in the southeastern United States. It communicates through complex songs and calls that have been observed to be associated with territoriality and mating behaviors.

These vocalizations are heard throughout the year, but become more prominent during the breeding season when males sing to attract females. The Carolina Wren’s song has been described as a series of rich, musical notes. Its call is a harsh “teakettle” sound, which can vary in pitch and length depending on context.

In addition to their vocalizations, these wrens are known for their energetic behavior, often hopping and fluttering around shrubs and low trees as they forage for insects and spiders.

A true fact about the Carolina Wren is that it was designated as the official state bird of South Carolina in 1948.

Looks like the House Sparrow’s got more rhythm than most of us, communicating through songs that would make even Beyoncé jealous.

House Sparrow

These common city birds are known for their distinctive plumage and melodic songs. Songs and calls are used by House Sparrows to communicate with each other during breeding, feeding, and territorial disputes. Their songs contain a variety of notes that can indicate the bird’s age and fitness.

House Sparrows have adapted well to urban environments, often making their nests in man-made structures such as buildings and bridges. Although they are sometimes considered a nuisance, these birds play an important role in controlling insects and other pests.

Interestingly, male House Sparrows have been shown to modify their song patterns based on the presence of predators in their environment. Researchers from Indiana University found that when sparrows heard recordings of predator calls, they changed their songs by increasing the number of trill-like syllables.

According to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, House Sparrows were introduced into North America from Europe in the 1850s. Since then, they have become one of the most common bird species on the continent.

Why sing when you can strut? These birds communicate with a flair for dramatic gestures and choreography.

Birds that communicate through body language and gestures

Bald Eagles

The majestic North American raptor with a distinct white head and dark body is among the most recognizable birds of prey in the world. Their keen eyesight, powerful talons, and impressive wingspan make hunting their specialty. Apart from vocalizing, it communicates through subtle movements like tilting its head or flapping its wings to express territorial claims or attract mates.

Bald eagles use specific behaviors when communicating with each other. During a typical day, they may engage in activities like perching on trees, soaring in the sky or diving into water to catch fish. They also use their strong beaks to initiate contact with one another and convey aggression or affection.

Interestingly, bald eagles are known to have a complicated courtship process that involves multiple gestures and displays over several weeks before mating takes place.

Pro Tip: Observe and analyze the unique behavior of bald eagles for an enriching wildlife photography experience.

Why use words to communicate when you can just strike a heron pose and let everyone know you’re the boss?

Great Blue Herons

These majestic avians, with distinctive bluish-grey feathers, are considered one of the largest and heaviest North American herons. Great blue herons communicate through a range of body language and gestures that includes stretch, bill snap, and head shake. They use their movements to signal aggression or claim territory with other birds.

Another unique characteristic of these birds is their ability to adapt their foraging techniques depending on the prey and environment. They often wait patiently for the right moment to strike a fish or amphibian from below the water’s surface.

Interestingly, it’s been observed by researchers that great blue herons can also communicate through vocalizations that are beyond human hearing range known as infrasound waves. This secret mode of communication allows them to warn other birds about approaching predator threats or bond with potential partners.

In one instance, a great blue heron was spotted using its sharp beak to carefully remove a plastic six-pack ring from around a fellow bird’s neck. The compassion showed by this bird indicates just how intelligent and empathetic they truly are in the wild.

Peacocks are like the Kardashians of the bird world, all about that show-stopping display of feathers and drama.


Peafowls are known for their ornamental plumage and elaborate courtship displays within the phasianidae family in avifauna. These birds are well-noted for their sophisticated communication through gestures, body language and vivid colouration.

  • Peafowls display their resplendent feathers and vibrant eye-spots during courting activities.
  • Their body language plays a crucial role in signalling threats, intimidation, or submission.
  • They also vocalize with characteristic calls and alarm cries to communicate with others.

In addition to their striking physical appearance, peafowls are swift runners and talented fliers. They also roost high on trees at night to avoid predators.

Peafowls were sacred in ancient cultures like Hinduism and China due to their symbolic meaning of beauty, nobility, renewal, and immortality. The legendary bird is vividly associated with gods and goddesses like Lord Krishna as their adornment or divine vehicle. With such fascinating characteristics that significantly contribute to avian biodiversity worldwide, peafowls continue to intrigue naturalists globally.

Why do penguins always look like they’re waiting for their ex to come back?


This aquatic bird species, with a distinctive black and white appearance, communicates effectively through body language and gestures. They largely rely on visuals for communication and travel long distances in search of food. Penguins are known for their intricate social behavior and highly-maintained nest-building rituals, which they use to attract mates and establish dominance in colonies. These birds are magnificent divers with streamlined bodies that enable them to maneuver through water effortlessly.

In South Africa, penguins faced a near-extinction due to oil spills in the early 20th century, but conservation measures have helped increase their habitat and numbers. Whether they’re flapping their wings or giving the cold shoulder, it’s clear that birds have a lot to say without even uttering a single chirp.


Avian vocal communication is diverse, with different bird species capable of producing unique sounds. Some birds are able to mimic human speech, while others utilize intricate songs and calls to communicate within their communities. Additionally, certain bird species exhibit impressive call-and-response behaviors. For instance, the African Grey Parrot can learn a surprisingly large vocabulary and even use language in context. However, it is important to note that not all birds talk in the same way or to the same extent.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What kinds of birds are known for talking?

Several species of parrots, African grey parrots, and some species of mynas and starlings are known for their ability to mimic and even learn human speech.

2. Do all parrots talk?

No, not all parrots talk. The ability to mimic and learn human speech varies among individual birds and species. Some parrots may only learn a few words or phrases, while others may develop a more extensive vocabulary.

3. Can other bird species learn to talk besides parrots?

Yes, some mynas and starlings have been known to mimic human speech and sounds as well.

4. Can birds understand what they are saying?

No, birds do not understand the meaning behind human speech and the words they are saying. They are simply imitating the sounds they hear.

5. Can birds communicate with each other through mimicry?

Yes, some bird species use mimicry and vocalization to communicate with each other. For example, male Lyrebirds in Australia mimic other bird calls to attract mates.

6. Can birds be trained to talk?

Yes, some birds can be trained to talk through consistent and patient training methods. However, it is important to note that not all birds can learn to talk and that it is a time-consuming process.

Julian Goldie - Owner of ChiperBirds.com

Julian Goldie

I'm a bird enthusiast and creator of Chipper Birds, a blog sharing my experience caring for birds. I've traveled the world bird watching and I'm committed to helping others with bird care. Contact me at [email protected] for assistance.