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can Senegal parrots learn to talk?

Are Senegal Parrots Good Talkers?

(Last Updated On: March 14, 2023)

Senegal parrots aren’t good talkers, but owners can usually train them to speak. Some Senegals can learn dozens of words and basic human phrases, but not all learn to talk well.

Senegal parrots are a quiet species, preferring to whistle, chatter, and squawk. However, if you start training a Senegal to speak while young, it’ll mimic some words.

Encourage a Senegal parrot to talk by repeating words to it regularly. Only choose words and phrases that are easy to repeat because this will give them the best chance of learning to speak.

Can Senegal Parrots Talk?

As stated, Senegal parrots are known for being a quieter bird species. They won’t be able to talk like African grays or Amazons, but they don’t screech or scream as much.

Senegals can learn words and basic phrases with consistent training. According to PLoS One, parrots have a highly developed genome sequence that enables them to display human-like qualities.

Senegal parrots are most likely to talk if you:

  • Speak to them throughout the day.
  • Leave the TV and radio on.
  • Repeat words and phrases regularly.

When Senegal parrots do talk, they speak relatively clearly. Owners should be able to understand what they’re saying, especially if they’ve spent time teaching their birds to talk from an early age.

However, Senegal parrots are better at mimicking common sounds, such as:

  • Coughs.
  • Sneezes.
  • Alarm clocks.
  • Sirens.
  • Clicker sounds.

Without encouragement, Senegal parrots likely won’t be interested in talking.

Do Female Senegal Parrots Talk?

Senegal parrots are easy to train due to their high intelligence. They pick up clicker training and respond well to positive reinforcement. So, male and female Senegal parrots can be taught to speak.

at what age do Senegal parrots start to talk?

At What Age Do Senegal Parrots Start to Talk?

All Senegal parrots are different, so there’s no definitive age when they begin to talk.

Some owners report their parrots mimicking words from 6 months of age, while others don’t start talking until they’re a few years old. Some never speak at all.

Several factors affect a Senegal parrot’s speaking age, such as:

  • Personality and characteristics.
  • When you start training it to speak.
  • The age of the bird, as younger parrots are easier to train.
  • Willingness to talk.
  • How bonded the parrot is to you.
  • Peaceful or noisy living environment.

The sooner you start training the parrot, the more likely it’ll be to speak.

Do Senegal Parrots Understand Us?

Even though some Senegal parrots can mimic words quite accurately, they don’t understand what they’re saying. They may gain contextual awareness based on their owners’ interactions.

For example, if owners consistently say “Hello” to their parrot as they walk into the room they’re kept in, Senegals start to recognize the context of the interaction and repeat it back to their owners.

The confusion comes when humans respond to appliances when they beep. Once parrots learn that these sounds get their owners’ attention, they mimic them. Because beeps and other electrical sounds are easier to copy than words, some parrots never develop their vocabularies.

Can Senegal Parrots Understand English?

Senegal parrots don’t have the cognitive abilities to distinguish between human languages, meaning they don’t understand English. They only mimic the language of their owners because that’s what they hear.

A parrot may seem to understand what you’re saying, but our brains fill in the blanks when our birds make nonsensical sounds, making it seem like they’re conversing with us.

How To Teach A Senegal Parrot to Talk

Teaching a Senegal parrot to talk takes time, patience, and consistency.

However, if you stick at it and start the parrot early in life, you should see success. Avoid forcing the parrot to do anything it doesn’t want to because teaching it to speak will become a stressful experience.

Build A Bond

A parrot will be more receptive to training if you’ve built a bond and developed trust.

While it’s best to start young, spend some time interacting with the parrot first. You’ll find that once the parrot loves you, it’ll want to please you by mimicking words.

Simple Words And Sounds

According to PLoS One, it’s rare for parrots to mimic complex sounds. While parrots have advanced vocal mimicry skills, Senegals typically learn basic words.

That’s why you should keep your training routine simple, sticking to one or two-syllable words such as:

  • Hello.
  • Bye.
  • Night-night.
  • Good bird.

Eventually, the parrot may move on to longer, more complicated words and phrases.


The trick to getting a Senegal parrot to mimic words and phrases is to repeat them. In the same way that human babies learn words by copying them, parrots do too.

Start with one word at a time and use it around the bird regularly. Once the parrot mimics you, move on to the next one and keep repeating this process until it has developed a vocabulary of words.

Word Association

You can encourage a Senegal parrot to learn words faster by associating them with the following:

  • Objects.
  • Actions.
  • Sounds.
  • Expressions.

To do this, make the action, expression, or sound and raise an object to the parrot’s eye level so that it can see what you’re holding. Repeat the word over and over, following the same steps.

Positive Reinforcement

Senegal parrots are motivated by rewards, specifically food. Whenever the parrot successfully mimics words, reward it with a treat to encourage it to keep learning.

Patience and Consistency

It’s likely to take months for a parrot to learn a few words. The process can be slow, so don’t give up. Spend at least a few minutes repeating words and phrases. Otherwise, your bird won’t learn.

Be Adaptive

All Senegals have unique personalities. What works for one bird may not work for another, so be adaptive with your training methods to find what works for your pet.

how to teach a Senegal parrot to talk

What Sounds Do Senegal Parrots Make?

As mentioned, Senegal parrots aren’t prolific screamers or screechers. They’re not completely quiet, as all birds make noise, even though they’re calm and peaceful.

Here are the most common sounds Senegal parrots make:


You’ll often hear a Senegal parrot whistling, especially if you make the sound frequently around them. When Senegal parrots whistle, they make a soft, pleasant sound that’s easy to listen to.

Whistling is similar to talking to parrots, and they learn to make this sound by listening to their owners, the TV, or the radio. It’s a sign they’re happy because parrots don’t whistle if angry or sad.

Senegal parrots whistle to gain their owners’ attention, especially when bored. Encourage the parrot to talk by teaching it to whistle first, and once it’s mastered the sound, move on to words.


Squawking is a common parrot sound, so it makes sense that Senegal parrots squawk frequently. They make the sound to get what they want, such as:

  • Attention.
  • Treats.
  • Toys.
  • Out-of-cage time.

However, note the parrot’s mannerisms and mood when it squawks, as it can signify danger.

Senegal parrots squawk when they see other animals nearby. Some parrots also squawk during a night terror, which is when they become fearful at night due to unfamiliar sights, sounds, or smells.


Chattering is among the most relaxing sounds Senegal parrots can make. Chattering sounds like an endless stream of nonsensical syllables interspersed with whistles and random words.

It’s a sign of contentment and occurs when a Senegal parrot learns to say words. If you have several parrots, you’ll hear them chattering with one another, which is how they connect in their flocks.

If you want a Senegal parrot to speak, interact with it regularly. The more you speak and sing to a pet parrot, the more likely it’ll repeat your words.