It is said that Quaker parrots have an amazing ability to learn to talk. When we researched what type of parrot would fit into our lives the Quaker kept popping up as a brilliant talker. We heard people saying that not only can a Quaker parrot learn to talk but they can learn to use the words they know in appropriate situations.
We admit that the biggest draw card that the Quaker parrot had; was the fact that there was a high chance it would learn to talk. However we were very skeptical that a parrot of any kind could learn to use their words appropriately.
We will add here that NOT every Quaker parrot has been known to talk. Some only learn a couple of words and some can learn hundreds of words. There are many other great reasons to own a Quaker that are spoken of within this site, so the main consideration you should make is whether a Quaker will fit in with your life and can you love it even if it doesn’t end up talking.
Quaker parrots are in the top 10 known for great talking abilities, however unlike the Amazons and African Grey; Quakers can not mimic exact tonal qualities of the original sound – such as your own voice or a police siren.
Some Quakers are known as closet talkers, only talking when their owners are out or behind closed doors. So if you have a Quaker that you think doesn’t talk at all, try hiding it in another room or setting up a video camera and you may be shocked to learn that it does talk after all.
When Pluto is chattering away and friends hear him, sometimes they will have no idea what he is saying. We often refer to this as the two-year-old syndrome; where only the mother understands what is being said. However as they practice their words they often become clearer and clearer and understandable to most.
Be careful what you teach a Quaker! You could be kicking yourself later. Often when Pluto learns a new word, he gets very excited with himself and we hear it over and over and over; and we are not exaggerating. So be prepared to hear what you teach on a regular basis and possibly in situations you would prefer not!
The truth behind using words in the correct context
To our surprise to some extent this is true. Pluto has definitely learnt to a lot of words in context and associates certain words with certain events or activities. Some of these words are because we taught him to say them at these times and some are situations that he picked up himself.
For example; each morning we take of his cover and automatically say “Good Morning”. He now calls out “Good Morning” to let us know that it is time to get up and as we approach the cage he will be quiet. As soon as the cover is lifted he says a bright and cheery “Good Morning” and then that’s it until the next morning. He knows that it isn’t used at any other time of the day.
Another example is coffee time. We have a coffee machine that makes a cappuccino so the whole process of grinding the coffee, frothing the milk and then tapping the chocolate on top. Pluto will watch and wait patiently until the whole process is complete and the cups are placed down on the bench. He will then call out – Coffeeeee – to the other parties having a coffee. Recently he has also decided that there is a difference. He decides between “Coffeeeee” (if the other person is not present and needs to come get the coffee) or “Coffee Time” – if the other person is present and he is announcing that it is coffee time.
It is important to note that we believe that most of the associations would be due to whether consciously or unconsciously we say certain things at certain times. However you can not take away the fact that HE has learnt and retained this information and to some extent knows what he is saying and when to use the words.