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Teaching Cockatiel to talk...

May 22nd, 2006, 11:50 AM
Hey I was just wondering if anyone has any experience in teaching cockatiels to talk... we've been going at it with Hailey for a while now and she just doesn't seem to want to talk... I've heard they sometimes talk- so... I was wondering about it... thanks...
P.s. I have researched a lot on it I was just wondering what you all think... ;)

May 22nd, 2006, 11:53 AM
this is her

May 22nd, 2006, 12:53 PM
She's a cute little fuzzy-face!

Tonya Bennett
May 22nd, 2006, 01:05 PM
I recently lost 'Pretty Baby', my beloved cockatiel, who lived to the ripe old age of 22! I'm told that this is a record, as the average age span of a domestic cockatiel is 10-17 years.
Anyways, he was an avid talker, and whistler. He did the wolf whistle and said things like 'Pretty Baby' , 'Hello', 'good boy', 'pretty baby boy', etc. Perhaps these are easy words for them to say.
I've heard that males are generally more talkative than females (believe it or not! hehe), but females can also learn phrases if you're persistant with repeating them. Try positive re-inforcement when the bird copies you, like a treat, a millet spray perhaps.
Best of luck, Tonya

Tonya Bennett
May 22nd, 2006, 01:09 PM
Hi again!
I just noticed Hailey's pic, she looks like 'Pretty Baby' did. Are you sure she's female? I've heard that males typically have the colour in their face, the orange cheeks.
If Hailey is actually a male, there's a better chance he'll talk.
Cheers, Tonya

May 22nd, 2006, 01:58 PM
I've never owned a bird, but I know someone on another message board who's very knowledgable and from what I've gathered, some birds will talk and some won't, depending on the individual bird. :)


jesse's mommy
May 22nd, 2006, 03:52 PM
I had an ex who had a cockatiel. He taught it to whistle the Three Stooges theme. It was pretty funny. It took a while, but the bird would evenutally dance (bob from side to side) as he was whistling.

May 26th, 2006, 03:50 AM
Some birds talk, some whistle, some don't do much of either.
You need to do most of your training in the morning and evening, when birds would naturally vocalize to each other. he might even like some words better than others - you will learn to recognize his reaction to see if you have hit a word he likes.
Try to be very happy when you say the word and even happier if he tries to repeat it. Be exited about any effort in the right direction. Normally he will try dozens of times on his own first and then in front of you. His first attempts will sound garbled and then get clear. keep trying - it could take weeks for him to get up the courage to try. But after the first word or two he should get better at it faster.
Vocalizing is about being social and connecting the flock. You are his flock. You can even use your word or whistle to call out to him from another room and see if he answers.
I would include a picture of our flock but I don't know how to do that yet!

May 27th, 2006, 12:38 AM
Your cockatiel looks just like our Peaches who is definately female!

Peaches was originally my grandma`s bird. She learned to wolf-whistle and say 'pretty bird' distinctly and was working on other words when my grandma had to go to an assisted living home where she didn`t get much attention for about 3 years. She lost the words she was learning and her 'pretty bird' became indistinct. She hasn`t learned any new words since, although honestly we don`t work with her as much as we could. I have noticed though that she sings several times a day that I think she`s picked up from birds outside, so she`s still capable of learning. The wolf-whistle seemed to be the easiest for her to pick up & she still does it. If you can whistle (I can`t!) maybe it would be easier to teach her a tune?

I`ve heard from several sources that males are more likely to talk than females. I think it would be cool if she had a few more words, but it doesn`t matter enough to me to really work on it. She is a sweet, friendly bird and that`s good enough for me. I do love her pretty bird songs in the morning!

Have you found anything in your research that suggests if a bird doesn`t learn any words in X amount of time that they won`t talk at all? Just curious.

Peaches seemed to pick things up quickly when she was younger, (she`s only 6 now) when she was carried around most of the day on someone`s shoulder with the same words repeated to her often. She had a lot of one-on-one attention then that she doesn`t get so much of now, although we do give her quite a bit. I imagine you`ve already been doing that since you`ve been working with her for awhile.

Good luck!

May 27th, 2006, 06:21 PM
Hi everyone... Thanks for the tips and stories.... its helped a lot.
I just got a new baby bird and I haven't named it yet... its 2 months old... and I'm lost for a name... lol.
Anyway- Hailey has tried to talk before... but I guess shes sorta shy or something. :pawprint: thanks again.