Do Cockatiels Talk—How Do You Teach Yours to Talk

Do Cockatiels Talk—How Do You Teach Yours to Talk

A 7 minute read by Eddie Waithaka

#cockatiels #cockatielstalking

House birds are priced for their affection, colors, gentleness, and others, their exceptional talking abilities. Top of any list are the various parrot types, including cockatiels, which only come second to a few other species.

Since cockatiels are parrots, like most members of this family, they can talk. However, they are less chatty and able to vocalize just a limited number of words, especially when comparing them to Amazons and African grey.

They are not the most excellent learners either, but they can definitely be taught to say a few words or phrases such as Hi, Hello, I'm X name, and pretty bird.

As such, teaching your cockatiel how to talk will take a lot of time and requires a great deal of patience and consistency.

So, if you are a new bird owner looking to train your cockatiel how to talk, this article will dive into the few things you need to know to attain success.

Please read on.

Can You Teach A Cockatiel How to Talk

As I mentioned above, cockatiels, like all parrots, have a unique ability to vocalize sounds, mimic words, and whistle. However, this does not mean they will magically start churning out statements.

Compared to some larger species such as Amazon and African grey parrots, tiels are a little less endowed with an ability to talk, though with a little persistence and patience, most can learn a great deal of words.

Plus, teaching your cockatiel to talk can be a great way for you and your pet to bond.

Most people who have worked with cockatiels say that with patience, many tiels will either talk or whistle, though generally not both. Plus, it takes a lot of time to teach either skill because your bird needs to steadily focus on what you are teaching: The Nest.

Essetially, your cockatiel will start by repeating syllables before gradually making replication of words or noises, though the speech will never sound as clear as with African greys and other excellent talking parrots.

Once your tiel has grasped enough words and statements, he will then learn to join phrases to make statements, to an extent where you may be able to understand what he is saying.

That said, to easily train your cockatiel how to talk, I recommend you start by forming a bond with your bird. Take the first few months with the pet to learn his likes and dislikes.

Allow your cockatiel to trust you by watching and learning what they are telling you to respond accordingly or honor his wishes.

Also, note that not all animals communicate the same. Even different birds (and parrots breeds) have varying communicative cues.

If you know what to look for, you can promptly tell what your bird is telling you and teach him a word that's best suited for that situation.

Most birds use their pupils, feathers, wings, beaks, body posture, and vocalizations to tell you how they are feeling and what their intentions are.

From experience, cockatiels will mostly hiss at things they are not a big fan of, but when they are having an enjoyable time, they boob their head and whistle.

A startled cockatiel will have his crest straight up as if to show he is very much on guard.

Once you are sure your cockatiel trusts you and is happy and healthy, start by teaching him simple words. Repeat the phrases anytime the setting is right to help him learn how to associate the words to situations.

Even so, only introduce your cockatiel to one word and a time, plus always make sure it's in a quiet place where he can hear you clearly.

Keep it short and simple and start by teaching him the words used frequently, such as his name or hello. Also, make sure the words are contextual.

For instance, only teach your cockatiels that happen in the morning during daybreak, such as good morning.

Lastly, treat your cockatiels every time he gets a word right to encourage him and help him to remain attentive on each training session.

Are Cockatiels Good Talker

Cockatiels are at best ok talkers, but I would not go to the extent of calling them good. They can vocalize a few sounds and even put together a lengthy statement if trained well, but they are never fully audible.

Essentially, a cockatiel's speech sounds more like a robotic-mimicking than an audible voice that is easy to discern. An unskilled keeper with little experience would probably not be able to tell what the bird is saying.

Even so, please note that they are not the worst talkers either. If anything, cockatiels are decent talking pets considering not many animals in the world can make mimic human speech.

You will also note that you have a better chance of getting your cockatiel (or budgie) to talk if it's a boy than if it were a girl.

Can Female Cockatiels Talk

Something unique to almost all cockatiels and budgies is that male birds seem more capable of vocalizing sounds than females. As such, while it is not entirely impossible to train your female cockatiel to talk, it's a little more challenging than when it's a boy.

However, it is also imperative to note that how fast and well your cockatiel learns to talk is dependant on a lot of variables and not just gender.

It'll matter more on the skills you apply and how much time you dedicate to training your cockatiel than the gender. Moreover, your bird will learn to talk much faster if it trusts you and is happy and healthy.

At What Age Do Cockatiels Start Talking

Although most cockatiels will start making cute little chirping and talking noises at 3 months, most are only trainable while anywhere from 8 to 10 months old.

As such, I recommend taking at least 6 months to understand and create a rapport with your pet before you start teaching him how to talk. You need to make sure your little birdie is no longer shy and trusts you enough to want to learn.

That said, males are known to whistle earlier in age and tend to be very (more) vocal than females. They will chirp, whistle, and even imitate familiar sounds.

P.S: Sometimes, how soon your cockatiel takes before talking depends on more than one factor, including the bird's personality. You may even get a female that starts making sounds early and be extremely vocal.

So, hopefully, the one you have (or get) will begin chirping, whistling, talking sooner than later.

Can Your Cockatiel Understand You

Cockatiels make great pets. They recognize their owners or caregivers and even respond to their voices.

Tiels also seem to develop a way of communicating with their owners.

Same as other parrots, cockatiels show displeasure by hissing, screaming, scratching, and biting, but will bob their heads and chirp when they are happy.

They will respond to petting (cuddles) happily using their pupils, body posture, beaks, feathers, wings, and vocalization to tell you how they are feeling and what their intentions are.

Cockatiels even have a unique way away from other parrots of responding to you and letting you know how they feel. For instance, when tiels are irritated, they will flatten their crest and most likely bite...

...but when they are curious and want to investigate, a tiels' crest feathers will go up a little more than halfway and full-up if your bird is startled or agitated.

Happy Birding 🐦.