Not all parrot species have the same vocal abilities. Eclectus parrots are quiet birds, but their temperament doesn’t reveal the true nature of their ability to perform mimicry.
Although quieter than other birds, Eclectus parrots can learn up to 250 words, speak different languages, have clear speech, and be trained to sing short songs.
Training an Eclectus to speak is relatively easy, as they’re intelligent birds that benefit from socialization. So, as long as they hear people talk regularly, they can develop a good vocabulary.
Can Eclectus Parrots Talk?
Eclectus parrots are among the most talented talking parrot species.
They’re shy about making traditional “bird noises,” like squawking, screeching, and high-pitched trills. However, when mimicking words, Eclectus parrots can be very chatty.
Eclectus parrots are good for people who want a bird to talk with. What sets them apart from other talking parrots is how clear their enunciation is.
They mimic the sounds they hear so well they can be clearly understood when they speak.
Can Female Eclectus Parrots Talk?
Female Eclectus parrots talk as much as male Eclectus parrots do. Birds of both genders can learn many words and talk as much as the other gender.
It’s unknown why female Eclectus parrots talk as much as males while female parrots of other species don’t. Eclectus parrots may be more emotionally complex than smaller birds.
At What Age Do Eclectus Parrots Start Talking?
It can take 3-12 months for an Eclectus parrot to start talking. When a parrot starts talking, you may not understand what it’s saying.
It takes a lot of practice for a young Eclectus parrot to mimic properly, but once it learns, it’ll have no problem enunciating words.
Some Eclectus parrots don’t start speaking until the 14-month mark, while others don’t like to talk.
Can Eclectus Parrots Mimic Sounds?
Eclectus parrots can mimic virtually any sound, from musical instruments to digital sounds and laughter. Parrots are naturally good at mimicking what they hear due to how their brains function.
According to the University of Alberta, parrots have a large medial spiriform nucleus that helps relay information from the brain to the brain stem.
This allows them to accurately control their syrinx to produce the sounds they hear. The only animal with similar neural pathways is humans, with our pontine nucleus.
One of the many signs an Eclectus parrot enjoys living with you is if it mimics the sounds it hears daily. Parrot flocks have different vocal patterns, even if they’re the same species.
This indicates that different Eclectus parrots have varied ways of communicating with their flock. When a parrot mimic sounds you frequently make, it considers you part of its flock.
These sounds are the flock-specific vocal patterns the bird has learned to communicate with.
How To Teach An Eclectus Parrot to Talk
Teaching an Eclectus parrot to talk is usually easy due to how friendly and agreeable the species is.
Follow these steps to teach your parrot to talk:
1/ Talk To The Parrot
The first step in getting an Eclectus parrot to talk is to expose it to the human language. Eclectus parrots are friendly, and they love to socialize. Speak with it as often as you can.
Tell other household members to speak to the bird and include it in conversations when you can. Put on some music or the TV, so the bird can familiarize itself with human sounds.
2/ Repetition And Context
Repetition is key when training a parrot, so it’s not enough to say things once or twice. Once you decide which words you want the parrot to learn, repeat them daily.
You could repeat a word multiple times during a training session, but using context is more effective.
So, instead of saying hello multiple times, say hello each time you walk into a room. This way, it’ll associate the word with the action and greet you when you enter a room.
3/ Easy Words And Phrases
Start by teaching your parrot easy words, especially if it’s young. Older parrots have more practice with mimicry, so they might be able to handle bigger words or phrases sooner.
Start with simple, common words. They should be phrases the parrot is bound to hear regularly, such as greetings or words of affection.
Once the parrot is skilled at simple words, you can move to longer phrases and even songs.
4/ Same Tone
Eclectus parrots are extremely smart but don’t understand language like us.
When they hear a word, they mostly hear what it sounds like without thinking about it unless they’ve learned its context. Using the same tone of voice will help the parrot remember specific words.
Use different intonations for the different words and phrases. You can extend vowels for certain words or use a sing-song voice for others to help the parrot learn various sounds.
5/ Positive Reinforcement
Positive reinforcement will encourage the parrot to learn faster.
When the parrot successfully says something, reward it so that it associates talking with good things. Eventually, the parrot will love to talk for the sake of talking.
Positive reinforcement isn’t only limited to treats. Verbal praises and head rubs are also welcome. Use a happy tone when praising the parrot so that it’s aware that it’s doing a good job.
6/ Establish A Routine
Practice and consistency are crucial to learning, so establish a routine with the parrot where you spend time training it on how to speak.
Training sessions should be no more than 10 minutes, and you should integrate them into play sessions.
Never do 10 minutes of talking to the bird as you would a student since parrots are too impatient and restless. They’re more like toddlers, who learn better through playtime than lectures.
How Many Words Can Eclectus Parrots Learn?
Eclectus parrots can learn more than 200 words. Of course, every parrot is different, even from the same species. Some Eclectus parrots won’t mimic that many words, even if they can.
It takes training to teach a parrot that many words. If you want to expand the parrot’s vocabulary by that much, it’s not impossible, but it’ll be a long journey ahead.
Easy Words for Eclectus Parrots To Learn
The easiest words for Eclectus parrots to learn are words they can hear often. While you should start teaching the parrot to talk with simple words, it’s most likely to repeat the ones it hears often.
Words of greeting, praise, and affection are the most common words you’ll hear an Eclectus parrot mimic. These are usually the ones their owners say to them, no matter how long the phrases are.
Why Has My Eclectus Parrot Stopped Talking?
When an Eclectus parrot stops talking suddenly, it usually means it’s ill, stressed, or depressed.
Parrots usually speak less when they are upset about something. If the parrot has stopped talking, look for other signs of unhappiness, such as the following:
- Feather plucking.
- Lack of appetite.
A pet parrot may have a respiratory infection or have sustained an injury. Take the parrot to the vet for a check-up because they’re very good at hiding signs of illness.