Best Talking Birds for Beginners

The green Eclectus parrot perched on a branch outside of its cage

Talking birds are wonderful pets, showing off their vocal abilities to your friends and family can be a lot of fun. But caring for a bird is a serious responsibility and if you’re new to caring for birds and you’re looking for a pet bird that talks, I recommend starting with one that’s easy to care for. In this article I’ll list a few talking birds that are relatively easy to care for, making them ideal talking birds for beginners!

What are the best talking birds for beginners? The best pet birds for beginners that talk include the Senegal parrot, Pionus parrot, Amazon parrot, budgerigar, Eclectus parrot, cockatiel, and Quaker parrot.

Ahead, I’ll discuss each bird on the list, covering areas like the bird’s talking propensity, why the species is recommended for beginners, and basic care factors. 

Let’s begin! 

Best Talking Birds for Beginners 

1. Senegal Parrot

The bright, colorful Senegal parrot from West Africa would catch your eye when shopping for a new pet because of its green and orange plumage, but you’ll also love how easygoing it is. That’s important for a beginner!

Senegal parrot or (Poicephalus senegalus) climbing inside its cage

Compared to other parrots, the Senegal parrot isn’t the noisiest on the block, but it’s very much capable of speech. 

The Senegal parrot can learn several dozen words, so train it wisely to be a great conversationalist. 

Your Senegal parrot should not scream and will prefer clucking and whistling when not verbalizing in a way that you and I can understand. 

To Care for the Senegal Parrot 

Keeping your Senegal parrot healthy isn’t too difficult. Each day, the small bird (that weighs up to 4.4 ounces) needs ¼ cup of food that’s part pellets and part seeds. 

Your seed options include tree nuts, chia seeds, hemp, or flax. A formulated pellet product is recommended as well. 

Be sure to incorporate fresh vegetables and fruits into the Senegal parrot’s diet as well.

The right cage size for this small bird is 28 inches tall, 20 inches wide, and 20 inches long with ¾-inch bars. 

Be sure to fill the cage with horizontal bars and toys!

2. Pionus Parrot 

A chunkier parrot than most, the Pionus parrot from South/Central America and Mexico has gorgeous blue plumage across the head and then green or brown feathers across the body.

The mid-sized Pionus parrot (10 to 12 inches in size) is compatible with beginners because it’s low-maintenance, easygoing, trainable, and kind. Oh, and it talks as well!

When a Pionus parrot hears you and others in your household speak, the bird can then try to mimic the vocal patterns and replicate your speech. You can also train your Pionus parrot to learn specific words and phrases. 

Like the Senegal parrot, a Pionus is not overly noisy, although it can begin squeaking at a very high pitch at times. 

The Pionus parrot doesn’t bite as much as other parrots, which can put a beginner’s mind at ease.

To Care for the Pionus Parrot

The Pionus parrot likes to eat! Their formulated diet should include pellets as well as lots of fresh fruits (especially berries) and vegetables. 

To prevent your bird from becoming overweight, you need to offset its eating propensity with plenty of exercise. That means giving the Pionus parrot a large cage with many perches the bird can fly to. 

The Pionus appreciates time outside of its cage as well, at least three hours every day if you can make that work. 

When the Pionus is in its cage, make sure you invest in escape-proof hatches, as the Pionus Parrot can pick locks! 

3. Amazon Parrot

Yellow Amazon parrot is the most well known speaking parrot

One of the best-known parrot species, the Amazon parrot is also recommended for beginners. 

Reaching sizes of 10 to 20 inches, the Amazon parrot is a playful, smart bird that needs attention and affection to truly be happy. 

The bird’s clownish antics and penchant for verbalization will make each day with your pet a truly incredible one!

The double yellow-headed, yellow-naped, and blue-fronted Amazon parrots are known for being the most vocal, but all Amazon parrots can learn to speak. 

The clarity of the yellow-naped Amazon parrot is especially something, as this bird will speak so well that you can almost forget you’re not having a conversation with a person!

More so, the yellow-naped Amazon parrot will sing, and with its lovely-sounding voice, that won’t bother you in the slightest. 

Other sounds that you might hear from an Amazon parrot include chattering and screeching. This bird can be quite loud!  

To Care for the Amazon Parrot 

To replicate an Amazon parrot’s diet as in the wild, make sure its diet is supplemented every day with fresh veggies and fruits as well as a high-quality pellet formula. 

Since it’s a bigger bird than the ones I’ve discussed so far, the Amazon parrot needs an equally sizable cage. 

The cage should be at least two feet by three feet by four feet, but if you have room in your home for a larger cage still, then that’s ideal. 

The spacing between the bars should be narrow so the bird can’t attempt any escapes and get stuck in the process.  

4. Budgerigar 

Going from a larger bird to a much smaller one, next is the budgerigar or budgie for short. You’ll also hear of this bird referred to as the shell parakeet or the common parakeet. 

Budgies are small birds with long tails and a variety of colorations. The younger the bird is when you acquire it, the more docile and beginner-friendly. 

Now let’s talk about what I know you’re eager to learn more about, and that’s the budgie’s ability to speak. Budgies can speak exceptionally well, on par with some parrots!

In fact, if you train your budgie a lot, it could learn hundreds of words, so its vocabulary exceeds that of some of the birds we’ve looked at already. 

Pet Budgerigar is free to go in and out of its cage during the daytime

When not speaking, budgies don’t tend to be overly loud, but their playful, curious personalities could inspire vocalizations. 

To Care for the Budgie 

Most of what a budgie eats, up to 75 percent, should be formulated pellets. 

The rest of the bird’s diet should be sprouted greens, leafy greens, and fresh fruits. Make sure the budgie has plenty of clean water too.

A budgie needs a sizable cage, big enough that the bird can open its wings to their full span without touching either side of the cage. 

Fill the budgie’s cage with perches and toys such as chew toys, swings, and mirrors. 

The budgie prefers time outside of its cage as well, but this time should always be supervised. 

5. Eclectus Parrot

If you’re looking for a pet bird that’s beginner-friendly and has a very clear speaking voice, that would be none other than the Eclectus parrot. 

This sharp-brained bird will happily and quickly learn the commands and speech recommendations you teach it, so go on and have it learn something interesting. 

What’s fascinating about the Eclectus parrot is not only how clearly the bird can talk, but how well it can mimic voices too. 

That said, if you hear your bird sounding high-pitched and almost girlish, that’s just how the Eclectus parrot naturally sounds. 

This colorful bird from the Solomon Islands comes in hues such as red, blue, yellow, or green. It’s known for its friendliness as much as its intelligence, and the bird is quite sweet and affectionate as well. 

A healthy Eclectus parrot will be very busy, spending its time climbing, flying, and playing. 

To Care for the Eclectus Parrot 

The best home for an Eclectus parrot is in an aviary, especially if you keep two of these birds. The aviary should measure seven feet tall, three feet wide, and 11 feet long at least. 

If you can only provide a cage for the Eclectus parrot, then that should be four feet tall, three feet wide, and two feet long. 

The Eclectus parrot needs seeds, vegetables, and fresh fruits in its diet, but make sure the bird is eating carbohydrates and fiber as well. Its diet must be low in fat due to the bird’s unique digestive tract. 

A grain baked casserole or cooked pasta will ensure the Eclectus parrot receives the carbs it needs. 

6. Cockatiel

cockatiels aren't as known for their vocal abilities but make fantastic pet birds for beginners

With its mohawked head, the cockatiel from Australia is another fantastic bird.

The cockatiel might not be known for talking but that doesn’t mean the bird can’t do it. They can learn several phrases and words that will surely put a smile on the face of anyone who comes to visit your home.

Male cockatiels are a little bit more speech-friendly than females, which is something to keep in mind. 

Cockatiels are good-sized birds, growing to lengths of 12 to 14 inches. They have at once bold personalities yet can also be sweet and cuddly. 

To Care for the Cockatiel 

The right cage size for a cockatiel is twice its wingspan, so the cage should be at least 20 inches by 20 inches by 30 inches for one bird. Cockatiels do well in pairs if you want to own two at a time.

Incorporate plenty of perches and toys and change up the texture and thickness of these accessories to maintain healthy cockatiel feet. 

The cockatiel’s diet is standard for most birds, comprising 75 percent bird pellets and 25 percent seeds. 

This bird should not eat vegetables and fruits every single day but rather, every other day. The cockatiel prefers dark leafy greens and fruits such as kiwi, papaya, melon, and berries. 

7. Quaker Parrot

The last pet bird I’d recommend for beginners is the Quaker parrot, which you might also hear referred to as the Monk Parakeet.

This bright-colored bird is usually green with creamy white plumage across the head, throat, and belly. 

Okay, but I’m sure you want to know – can it talk? But of course! 

Like many parrots, the Quaker parrot is capable of learning plenty of sounds and words, enough to become an awesome conversationalist.

Besides that, the clarity of the Quaker parrot’s voice is also quite incredible. 

The Quaker parrot may begin speaking as young as six weeks, but it’s more likely to be six months. 

This bird measures about 11 inches and has an incredible wingspan of 19 inches in maturity. 

To Care for the Quaker Parrot  

Keeping your Quaker parrot healthy is simple, especially once you get into a routine. The bird eats primarily pellets with yellow and dark green veggies and plenty of fresh fruits.

You can also incorporate grated cheese and hard-cooked eggs into the Quaker parrot’s diet on occasion. 

Since the Quaker parrot has such an immense wingspan, the bird needs an appropriately large cage. The cage should be 22 inches wide, 18 inches tall, and 18 inches long. 

Make sure you add a variety of perches at different heights to entertain your Quaker parrot and try to include a mix of textures and shapes as well. 

Don’t forget the toys! Some of the Quaker parrot’s favorites are bells, ropes, and climbing ladders. This bird can stay entertained for hours. 

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