Last Updated on October 24, 2023 by Ali Shahid
We all know that parrots are capable of speaking in a wide range of languages. There are times when their vocabulary is so impressive that it leads us to wonder: How many words can a parrot learn?
The number of words a parrot can learn depends on the type of parrot. For example, African Grey parrots are the smartest and can learn between 300 to 1000 words. Other parrots, like Amazon parrots and Quaker (or Monk) parrots, can also learn words, usually around 30-40 words. So, there isn’t one answer because each kind of parrot has its own range of words it can learn. Interestingly, the size of the parrot can affect how many words it can learn.
In this article, we’ll explore how many words parrots can learn, which parrots can learn the most words, and how long it takes for a parrot to learn new words.
Which Parrot Can Learn the Most Words?
The African Grey parrot is known as the smartest parrot and is often considered the best at talking among all bird species (The Spruce Pets). With thorough training, some African Grey parrots can learn more than 1,000 words. However, other parrots like budgies, Eclectus parrots, Indian Ringneck Parakeets, and Quaker (or Monk) parrots also have impressive vocabularies.
While certain parrot species may pick up words more easily, all birds need substantial quality time with their human companions, along with exposure to repeated words and phrases, in order to learn how to talk.
|5 Parrots with the largest vocabulary|
|The African Grey Parrot||The African Grey Parrot is widely known as the smartest parrot. Some African Greys can learn over 1,000 words, but it takes a lot of training. While it’s believed that they can have conversations, this hasn’t been proven and usually requires many years of training. They can mimic sounds they’ve heard, like shouting or swearing when someone drops or breaks something. Owning an African Grey requires a significant amount of time, patience, and knowledge.|
|The Indian Ring Parakeet||Indian Ring Parakeets can learn around 250 words, depending on their interaction with their owner. They typically start using human words at about 4 months old. These birds are excellent mimics and can even copy accents from their environment. Indian Ring Parakeets make great pets and come highly recommended.|
|The Eclectus Parrot||Eclectus Parrots are known for their clear speech and mimicry skills. They can sing entire songs and mimic various sounds, making it seem like they understand what they’re saying.|
|The Amazon Parrot||Amazon Parrots are famous for their strikingly beautiful feathers and sweet, clear voices. They can speak around 300 words on average, but with proper training, they can talk for hours.|
|The Quaker Parrot||Quaker Parrots have a vocabulary of 50 to 60 words and can use them with some understanding before they reach six months of age. They have the ability to create ‘word songs,’ which might sound like bird songs, and can sometimes be a bit challenging to understand.|
Famous Parrots With Impressive Vocabularies
Here are some notable parrots with impressive vocabularies:
- Einstein, the African Grey Parrot: A resident of Zoo Knoxville in Tennessee, Einstein, a 30-year-old parrot, can produce over 200 sounds, including words, and knows at least 70 words when prompted. She even spontaneously utters words. Einstein gained widespread recognition after winning the title of “Pet Star” on Animal Planet’s popular game show in 2006. Later that year, she was featured in a TED talk alongside trainer Stephanie White, who described Einstein as a parrot that “chatters” throughout the day.
- Clover, the Congo African Grey Parrot: Clover has an impressive vocabulary of over 350 words and achieved victory in the “professional” category of the Kaytee International “Best Talking Parrot” competition.
- Alex, the African Grey Parrot: Alex was a subject of study by Harvard scientists who were astonished by his language-learning abilities. He could distinguish colors and shapes and had a vocabulary of over 100 words.
- Budgerigar Parrots: Budgerigars, or budgies, hold the Guinness World Record for the most extensive bird vocabulary ever recorded. One remarkable budgerigar, Puck, has been recorded speaking an astounding 1,728 words, a feat unparalleled among birds.
Can Parrots Learn Words?
Absolutely, parrots have the ability to pick up words. These birds belong to the group of vocal learners, which means they acquire sounds by listening to them and then copying them. While there are other bird species that can recognize and reproduce sounds, parrots are the experts in this domain.
The majority of parrots are adept mimics, but some exceptionally well-trained parrots have even gained the ability to comprehend the meaning behind their words. For instance, a trained parrot that can identify its favorite foods understands precisely what it’s asking for when it vocalizes its preferences.
How Long Does it Take for a Parrot to Learn New Words?
The duration required for a parrot to acquire new words differs based on the particular bird and the techniques employed in training. The critical phase for language development spans approximately six months.
The process of developing language skills is a result of effective nurturing or parenting practices. Acquiring the ability to communicate with humans plays a vital role in helping a parrot develop into a well-balanced and self-assured individual.
Parrots are amazing birds when it comes to learning words. The African Grey parrot stands out as the smartest and can learn over 1,000 words with dedicated training. But other parrots like Indian Ring Parakeets, Eclectus Parrots, Amazon Parrots, and Quaker Parrots also have impressive vocabularies.
Some famous parrots, like Einstein and Alex, have wowed us with their language abilities. Parrots can indeed learn words because they’re fantastic mimics. The time it takes for a parrot to pick up new words varies, but the crucial learning phase is about six months. Patient and loving training helps parrots become great talkers and wonderful companions.
Ali Shahid is a veterinarian by profession and an animal lover. He loves to give expert opinions about different animals. He has worked in top organization of birds like Bigbird Feed and Poultry Research institute. He loves birds, especially parrots and has great experience in different parrot farms.