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Top 10 'talking' birds

www.PetMD.com, the largest global source of pet health information, is created by veterinary professionals and covers 9 different species.

Polly want a cracker?

Some people want a pet that they can exercise and play with, and some people want a pet that will help keep them warm at night, and still other people want a companion -- an animal that will be an unquestioning, faithful friend through thick and thin. That's all good for them, but there are those of us who want a companion that we can talk to. We want a voice at the end of a long work day welcoming us home with,"Hello, darling, how was your day?" For people who wish to have that type of companion in the form of an animal, a talking bird fits the bill very nicely.

Woman with African gray parrot

finding the best match

However, not just any talking bird will do. Some birds speak quietly, while others will scream at the top of their lungs. The type of bird one chooses must be paired suitably with the environment in which one lives. That is, house or apartment, metropolitan or suburban. Perhaps you live in the countryside and the only audio comfort that needs to be taken into consideration is your own. In that case, you will need to decide how much noise you can handle through the day.

All talking birds are great fun to have as companions, but some are better at verbalizing and enunciating their words than others. Some breeds have better memory than others and are able to store hundreds, even thousands of words into their little bird brains. Then there are the select few, like the African Grey, that are able to listen to people talk, discern the proper context and situation, and hold a reasonable conversation (reasonable within the context of being a bird).

There are even birds that will break out of their breed restraints and surprise everyone with its highly capable memory and language skills. It is those extraordinary birds that are often showcased on shows like Animal Planet.

For this list, we based our choices on the special abilities of breeds within the bird classes. Amazons, for example, are a large group, but only a handful are known for being talented with speech. And then there are some breeds that can talk, but they tend to be garbled, or they are known to spend more time screeching than they do speaking. These breeds were not included.

The 10 Most popular 'talking' pet birds

Budgerigar

Also known as the Budgie, or Parakeet, this common little bird is capable of learning a large number of phrases and songs. Their voice tends to be low and not always defined, and males tend to train better than females.

Monk Parakeet

Also called the Quaker Parakeet, this colorful little bird is actually a small parrot. They are known for being very clever and social, developing large vocabularies of phrases and words.

Blue-Fronted Amazon

If you want a companion for life, this is a good fit. The Blue-Fronted can live for up to 100 years, or more. They have an excellent speaking voice, with a strong ability to mimic human voices.

Indian Ringneck

Very clever little birds, Indian Ringnecks can develop a large vocabulary, and speak very clearly in sentences. Not so much for mimicking the pitch of a human voice, they more often speak in their own bird voices, though they can carry the mood of the phrase.

Eclectus

Known for being especially gender dimorphous -- the male is green and the female bright red -- this parrot is able to verbalize distinctly and mimic the tone and mood of language. While its capabilities are strong, these abilities depend entirely on training from an early age.

Up Next: The 5 most popular 'talking' pet birds >>

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