Amazon Parrots – Talking
Amazon parrots are best known for their talking characteristics that distinguishes them from all other non-human creatures. It is the only creature on planet that can talk and communicate in the language of humans. Talking parrots are extremely lovely and most wanted pets all over the world.
Types of Communication:
Amazon parrots communicate in different ways. Though this unique creature cannot deliver feelings through facial expressions, they do understand behaviors, interpret them and express through words once trained.
- Non-Verbal Communication: Amazon parrots become aggressive and stubborn when things go against their desire. They can show their boredom or dissatisfaction through non-verbal communication by not talking at all or sitting in a corner or even by starting to bite suddenly.
- Verbal Communication: in verbal type, they communicate through words, mimicry or imitation and noise.
- Words: Amazon parrots communicate in the language they receive the message in. They learn basics of language and utilize small words mostly e.g. I, Go, Bye, Hello etc. However, with time and practice they can speak long sentences and complicated words too.
- Mimicry or Imitation: Amazon parrots seek appreciation and reward. They mimic sounds to please their owner and get attention. Studies reveal that Amazon parrots have special control over vocals with which they produce different combinations of sounds. With training and practice, they imitate their surrounding sounds e.g. some can mimic a cat or a dog and even door bells too.
- Noise: These parrots make noise when they want attention or are displeased. They will also mostly try to communicate in their own dialect which the owners may confuse as noise.
Stages of Talking
Stages of Talking:
Amazon parrots talk, sing and enjoy with their owners. However, they cannot start speaking the very first day of teaching. Remember! Teaching a language to bird is similar to teaching a child. Amazon parrots might take few weeks to few years in learning languages. Generally they take 3 to 15 weeks to learn a word in start and 2 to 3 weeks after that. There are different stages of talking parrots:
Stage 1: Showing Interest: Amazon parrots are willing to get attention and acknowledgement. Though they don’t understand languages at first, however they do interpret behaviors. If the trainer gives reward or appreciation on mimicry to the parrot then he would definitely start showing interest in learning words. They might show the interest in one week.
Stage 2– Bobbling Words: At first Amazon Parrots produce bobbling words as they lack practice and control over vocals in start. The teacher has to sustain patience at this stage. If the parrot finds aggression or frowning in his teacher, he will stop practicing in anger. This stage requires a lot of time for practice and effort.
Stage 3: Clear Single Word: Amazon parrots learn one word at one time. If compelled to learn many words at once, they will produce a mixture of meaningless sounds. Many techniques are used for this purpose like playing a recorded sound, repeating same sound in front of the parrot, making the parrot practice indoor and outdoor, asking friends to communicate that word with it etc.
Stage 4- Fluent Learning: Once the parrot learns a word, it starts speaking more words. However the technique remains same here i.e. words should be taught one by one.
Do Parrots Really Communicate?
Talking parrots have been of great debate since decades. Research has revealed that Amazon parrots understand the behavior of communicator and reply accordingly. They do not just mimic or produce sounds they actually understand the context of a message, interpret it accordingly and then create a message under same context and in the same language. Opposing debate is that parrots only mimic sounds but do not understand the context behind them, for example if a parrot is taught and practiced to speak ‘Fine’ when someone asks ‘how are you’, then the parrot actually recognizes the sound ‘how are you’ and not the context.
Amazon parrots have a strong control over their vocals. They can produce any sound; would it be mimicry of a cat’s meow, dog’s woof or of human beings. They are intelligent enough to pick the language of their surroundings.
One of the reinforcing feature for producing vocals and sounds is their desire for attention and affection. They want to become part of the group around them and therefore try their level best to talk and communicate with them.