Senegal parrots aren’t good talkers, but owners can usually teach them to speak a little. Some Senegals can learn up to a dozen human words or phrases, but few learn to talk well.
While there’s no such thing as a quiet bird, Senegals are quieter than most parrots. Rather than talking, they prefer to whistle, chatter, cluck, and occasionally squawk.
If you start training a Senegal to speak while young, it may learn to mimic some basic English words. Teaching an older parrot to talk can happen, but it’s usually more challenging.
Can Senegal Parrots Talk?
As stated, Senegal parrots are known for being a quieter bird species. They’ll never talk like African greys or Amazon parrots, but they don’t screech or scream as much.
Senegals can sometimes learn words with consistent training. According to PLoS One, parrots have a highly developed genome sequence that enables them to exhibit human-like qualities.
Senegal parrots are most likely to talk if you:
- Speak to them regularly.
- Leave the TV and radio on.
- Repeat words and phrases during training sessions.
- Provide lessons while they’re still young.
When Senegal parrots do talk, they speak relatively clearly. Owners can understand what they’re saying, especially if they’ve spent time teaching them to talk from an early age.
Senegal parrots are better at mimicking common household noises, such as:
- Alarm clocks.
- Clicker sounds.
Without human encouragement, Senegal parrots are unlikely to be interested in talking.
Do Female Senegal Parrots Talk?
Male and female Senegal parrots have similar speaking abilities. Senegal parrots are easy to train due to their high intelligence but they prefer learning tricks and everyday sounds.
At What Age Do Senegal Parrots Start to Talk?
There’s no set age when Senegal parrots will talk.
Some owners report their birds mimicking words from 6 months of age, while others don’t start talking until they’re several years old. Some senegals never say human words.
These factors affect a Senegal parrot’s speaking age:
- Personality and characteristics.
- The age of the bird (younger parrots are easier to train).
- A basic willingness to talk.
- How bonded the parrot is to you.
- Peaceful or noisy living environment.
The sooner you start training a Senegal parrot, the more likely it’ll speak.
Do Senegal Parrots Understand Us?
Even though some Senegal parrots can mimic words 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 when they walk into the room, Senegals recognize the context of the interaction and repeat the words to their owners.
The confusion comes when humans respond to appliances when they beep. Parrots mimic things once parrots realize these sounds get their owners’ attention.
As appliance sounds are easier to copy than words, some parrots never develop human vocabulary.
Can Senegal Parrots Understand English?
Senegal parrots lack the cognitive ability 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 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.
If you start early in life and stick to it, you may be successful. 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 time interacting with the parrot first. You’ll find that once the parrot grows fond of 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 learn basic words.
Keep your training routine simple, sticking to 1-2 syllable words:
- Good bird.
Eventually, the parrot may move on to longer, more complicated words.
The trick to getting a Senegal parrot to mimic words 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 repeat this process until it has developed a vocabulary.
You can encourage a Senegal parrot to learn words faster by associating them with the following:
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, following the same steps.
Senegals are motivated by rewards, like food and attention. Whenever the parrot successfully mimics words, reward it with a treat or petting to encourage it to keep learning.
Patience and Consistency
It’s likely to take months for a Senegal parrot to learn a few words. The process can be slow, so don’t give up. Spend time repeating words and phrases, or it’ll never speak.
Be creative with your training methods to find what works for your pet.
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 calmer and more peaceful than others.
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.
Whistling is similar to talking to parrots because they learn to make this sound through their environment. It’s a sign they’re happy because parrots don’t whistle when angry or sad.
Squawking is a common parrot sound. They make the sound to get what they want, including:
- Personal attention.
- Special treats.
- Fun toys.
- Out-of-cage time.
Note the parrot’s mannerisms and mood when squawking because it can signify danger.
Senegals squawk when they see other animals nearby. Some parrots also squawk during night terrors when they become fearful due to unexplained sights, shadows, and sounds.
Chattering is among the most relaxing sounds Senegal parrots make. Chattering sounds like an endless stream of nonsensical syllables interspersed with whistles and random words.
If you have several parrots, you’ll hear them chattering, which is how they connect in their flocks.
If you want a Senegal parrot to speak, train and interact with regularly. Focus on teaching the bird one simple word at a time each day before moving on to the next one.