Top 3 Best Talking Parrots

The African Grey


International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC) certified parrot behavior consultant Mattie Sue Athan said, “African grey parrots have a reputation for being smart and not loud.” Athan is also the award-winning author of the book, “The Well Behaved Parrot.”

According to Athan, independent play is vital developing good vocal abilities. He said, “The development of independent toy play during the period of intense learning between fledging and the onset of sexual maturity is the key to a well-adjusted adult African grey parrot. An African grey that does learn independent toy play by the age of months can vocalize excessively and develop feather destructive behavior by the age of 9 months.”

Colleen Fresco is from New Jersey, and she has an African grey parrot for almost three years. Her parrot named Rocket learns new words every week, and this amazes her. According to her, Rocket can invent his new wordings. “One day Rocket spied me with food and said, ‘Want some.’ I told him ‘Rocket, go eat your bird seed.’ He persisted with ‘want some,’ and I still didn’t respond. Then he started doing what I call food flips in his cage. He climbs up the front of his cage, goes across the top and comes down the back of his cage to his perch. He could see that his antics weren’t working (they usually do). I told him to eat his bird food, again, and out of desperation, he said, ‘Want Colleen’s … pleeeeeease!’ I was astonished. He knew how to say my name, but only said it to call out to me. He had also never said please before. Needless to say, Rocket got what he wanted!”

Pamela Anthony is from Pennsylvania; her male Congo African grey, Dave, is a cognitive talker. “Our little lovebird, Jimi, was flying in circles around the living room and had trouble finding a place to land. After about four or five revolutions Dave said, ‘Whatsa matter?” When Dave wants something, he calls to Anthony the way talking birds do. “One day, he made his own joke by mixing ‘whatsa matter’ and my name, coming up with ‘whatsamamala,’ followed, of course, by laughter. He knew he made a joke.”

Myra Dashner is from Wisconsin, and she has a 3-year-old Congo African grey named Eeyore. The parrot has a vocabulary of more than 300 words. “Before I even brought her home from the pet store she would say ‘Hello’ to me every time that I visited her—she was 4 months old!”

Eeyore can speak in different voices and enjoys mimicking Myra, her husband and their TV. “She learned the ‘Cops’ theme song (‘Bad Boys, Bad Boys…’? and now if we sing the first verse she’ll pick up the second.”


Rita Douglas

My name is Rita Douglas, I love and always have loved birds, My parrot passions include environmental enrichment and parrot nutrition. I am very interested in ways to stimulate my parrots physically and mentally.