I have always loved videos of talking birds.
I watch videos of parrots talking to other animals, humans, the television, and even stuffed animals.
I saw the most adorable video the other day of a cockatoo (under supervision) petting a small puppy.
The woman holding the puppy told the cockatoo, “tell him you love him,” and the cockatoo said to the puppy, “I love you!”
My heart melted, and I wondered if my bird, a green cheeked conure, could talk?
As it turns out, the answer is yes; green cheek conures can talk. However, it may require patience and consistency if you want to teach your green cheek conure to speak as they are not known to be natural mimics like some other breeds of parrot.
When can they start talking?
Generally, Green Cheek Conures can start to mimic words at around 2-3 months old.
They have a soft, gravelly voice, so you might not notice immediately if your bird is talking to you.
Most Green Cheek Conures are known for being quieter than the average conure, and this remains true when they learn to speak.
Most Green Cheek Conures love to communicate with members of their flock.
They naturally communicate using a combination of chirps, whispers, purrs, and mumbles.
My Green Cheek Conure loves to talk to me in her language, and over time I have been able to learn what her different sounds mean.
However, training your bird to speak has plenty of benefits.
Why teach your Green Cheek Conure to talk?
Many parrot owners enjoy being able to communicate back and forth with their birds.
My Green Cheek Conure already “talks” to me regularly.
She almost always chats with me if I’m in the room, especially if she is sitting on my shoulder.
Parrots are intelligent, and you may want to teach them words to accompany their training.
For example, one early training command you may want to teach your bird is “up.”
You can use this command to transport your bird from perch to perch or develop trust.
Many Green Cheek Conures have been known to mimic training words used by their humans.
Some people enjoy showing off their talking birds to friends or social media.
If you like to make videos of your parrot, teaching them to talk would be a great addition to their skills.
Or, you may train your bird to speak to enhance safety.
One example of this might be to train your bird to call out your name to get your attention.
Some people may feel like teaching their bird to talk enriches the relationship with their bird.
Having the ability to understand what your bird is trying to say may provide a sense of greater closeness and bond with your bird.
What kinds of words can Green Cheek Conures learn?
Green cheek conures are not known for their talking skills, so when they learn words, they do best learning short 1-2 syllable words or short phrases.
You might want to teach your bird phrases such as “I love you,” “pretty bird,” or “Hello.”
Some kinds of parrots mimic language very naturally, but green cheek conures must be deliberately taught to speak if you want them to have a large vocabulary.
They are naturally quieter than most parrots, so be patient with them and give lots of positive reinforcement if you’re going to teach them words.
You probably won’t have to worry about them picking up undesirable words from their environment, either, as they don’t naturally mimic words that aren’t specifically directed at them.
This characteristic makes them generally desirable birds for language-conscious families.
Are Green Cheek Conures easy to understand?
Green cheek conures are not known for being great talkers.
Even if you can teach them some words, you may have difficulty understanding your bird, much like when a child first learns how to speak.
Understanding your green cheek conure might only be possible for the people who live in the household and interact with the bird regularly.
Even still, hearing your bird say “I love you” for the first time may be worth the effort.
Should I teach my Green Cheek Conure to talk?
That all depends on the kind of relationship you want to have with your bird.
Teaching a green cheek conures more than a few words will require dedicated training time.
Be ready with their favorite treats or toys to reward them for success in learning a word.
You’ll need to practice words with them regularly, the same way you train them to step up onto your hand or return to their perch.
This decision is going to be personalized to each individual.
My green cheek conure only says, “I love you,” and she did that naturally without me having to teach her.
Your green cheek conure may love to learn words and may mimic words or phrases without much effort on your part.
Or, your bird may require a lot of training to learn how to speak, and you may feel like your training effort would best be spent on other skills.
It is possible to have a great relationship with your green cheek conure without training them to speak.
Green cheek conures may not be the best choice if you want a bird who can develop a large vocabulary or speak in sentences with you.
If you enjoy quieter birds and are comfortable with your bird only saying a few words, then a green cheek conure may be a great choice of bird for you.
What if my green cheek conure doesn’t learn to speak?
That’s okay! Not all green cheek conures are going to be interested in learning to speak.
It doesn’t mean that you’re not interacting enough with your bird.
You can still have a great relationship with a green cheek conure that doesn’t learn to speak.
They are wonderful companion birds, and just like cats or dogs, you will come to know what they mean when they communicate with you in their way.