Can African Grey Parrots talk? (How to Teach)

Last Updated on April 11, 2023 by Ali Shahid

It’s no secret that African Greys are smart. Additionally, the African Grey parrot possesses a number of other characteristics that make it so unique. So, what about its talking ability? In terms of talking, where does it stand? Can African Grey Parrots talk?

African grey parrots can talk, which makes them so appealing. With time, they accumulate a vocabulary of 1,000 or more words, and they use those words in context. They are also attuned to their owners’ emotions and talk in context. Research has shown that grays can develop an outstanding vocabulary and understand what they’re saying.

However, not all African Greys can talk, such as those at a bird sanctuary. They are not exposed to any human interaction. However, if you wish, you may teach them to speak. To learn more about African Greys’ talking abilities, please continue reading.

Can all African greys talk?

The majority of African greys are capable of speaking. In fact, their ability to mimic sounds and words is one of the reasons they are so charismatic.

While they may be capable of learning some words on their own, it is still important to teach them so that they have a wider vocabulary.

How long does it take for an African Grey parrot to talk?

The African grey usually begins talking between the ages of 12 and 18 months. In the early stages of development, they can speak some words and mimic sounds. However, when they reach a certain age, they begin to speak more and converse more freely.

Are African Grey Parrots Loud?

Generally, these birds are not known for loud screams. Despite not being very loud, these birds often use human words and mimic other sounds, often at levels up to 70 decibels.

However, when they desire to be loud, they can be very loud. Due to their high intelligence, they rely on games and social interactions to keep themselves entertained. Otherwise, they may become bored and vocalize.

Why is my African Grey not talking?

African Grey parrots may not communicate for several reasons. The following are some possible options:


It can take several years for an African Grey parrot to begin talking. You may just need to give your parrot more time if it is still young.


To encourage talking, African Grey parrots need an environment that is stimulating and social. If your bird does not receive enough interaction, enrichment, and attention, it may not speak as much as it should.

Health issues

Parrots are less likely to talk if they are sick. A parrot’s speech can be affected by respiratory infections, nutritional deficiencies, and other health conditions.


The personalities of parrots are as varied as those of people. The talkativeness of grey parrots may vary from one individual to another.


It takes consistency and patience to teach African Grey parrots how to talk. Your parrot will not talk without regular training and positive reinforcement.

When you are concerned about your African Grey parrot’s ability to speak, you should consult an avian veterinarian. Alternatively, you may consult with a bird behaviorist or trainer if you wish to learn how to encourage your parrot to speak.

How to teach an African Grey Parrot to talk

  • Even before you begin training your bird to mimic your voice, make it a habit to speak to it. The African grey is a social bird that enjoys interacting with people.
  • Initially, use simple words such as “Hello,” “Goodbye,” and the name of your bird. Once your bird has mastered simple words, you can begin to introduce it to simple phrases.
  • It is important to repeat your instructions and recognize patterns so that your bird can learn. For example, if you say “Hello” every time you enter a room, your parrot will learn to say “Hello” when you enter.
  • Don’t shout, but speak at a volume that makes your bird able to understand what you are saying. In this way, it will be able to hear your sounds and mimic them.
  • Make sure you repeat the word you wish your bird to learn repeatedly so that it becomes accustomed to the sound. Often, greys mimic household sounds like ringing doors, ringing phones, and other pets’ sounds. Similarly, you should teach it the words you intend to use.
  • When you believe your bird is speaking, repeat what you hear. Be enthusiastic and smile at your bird to show it you’re excited. If it has not already eaten too many treats for the day, give it some.
  • If your parrot learns a word or phrase, don’t assume it will keep saying it once it learns it. To make your bird remember your words and phrases, keep repeating them.
  • When you train your birds, give them lots of praise and treats. Say the word and then give the treat. Once you train it to expect treats, wait till it says the word before you give it a treat. Over time, it will learn the word without your reinforcement.

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