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How to Teach Your Bird to Speak

Training your bird is essential to developing a good relationship with your pet. It's also a great way to get familiar with you your bird's "body language" and moods. Training your bird to speak should be a fun activity for both of you [source: Kaplan].

Here's how to teach your bird to speak:

  1. Repeat a simple word like "hello" or your name. Because birds learn by repetition, be prepared to repeat the word each day over several days or weeks until your bird says it.
  2. Praise your bird and give it treats as soon as it repeats the word. You might say something like, "Wow, that's great!"
  3. Add a new word to your bird's vocabulary as it learns to say each new word. Slowly build on the words your bird already knows. For example, if it can say your name, teach it to say "Hello, name."
  4. Remember, each bird prefers the sounds of certain words to others. If you've spent weeks unsuccessfully trying to get your bird to say a certain word, move on to another word that sounds completely different.
  5. Show enthusiasm. Some birds learn to say words if they're spoke in an enthusiastic and cheerful manner.
  6. Teach your bird to communicate. When you offer something to your bird, repeat the name of the item a few times and use it in a sentence. For example, hand your bird some birdseed and say, "Birdseed. Yummy Birdseed." This will teach your bird the meaning of the word and that if it says that word, it will get corn.
  7. Teach your bird concepts. For example, say "good morning," when you greet your bird every morning, and say "Bye-bye" when you leave. Be consistent.
  8. Be patient. It can take a long time to teach a bird to speak, and some birds need more time than others.
  9. Persevere. At first, your bird may just mutter or babble. Don't think that your bird will never do more than that. This is how birds practice speaking. Suddenly, one day, the bird will say the word. Once that happens, new words usually come quickly [source: Sweat]. //]]]]> ]]>