If you are looking to get a pet, and you are a bird enthusiast, then you may be wondering which parrots make the best companions, and what you can expect from them.
Luckily, with our guides, you can find out all about various species of parrots, how to care for them, and what their personalities are like.
One of the more popular types of parrot that many people love to care for is the Senegal parrot. This parrot is renowned for its calm temperament, quiet nature and incredible pet quality.
These types of parrots are also very affectionate, playful and love to spend time with their owners, so if it is companionship you are looking for, then the Senegal parrot is the one for you!
This guide will take a look at what exactly a Senegal parrot is, whether they can talk, and how you can teach a parrot to talk! So, first, what is a Senegal parrot precisely?
What is a Senegal parrot?
The Senegal parrot is a medium sized parrot that is known to be calmer, gentler and much quieter than other species of parrot. These birds can grow up to 10 inches in length, weighing anywhere between 4-6 ounces, and can live for up to 50 years!
The Senegal parrot usually has a stocky body, large head and short tail, and can come in around 10 different species. This parrot is typically found in the woodlands of Central Africa in the wild, yet are some of the best birds when bred for captivity.
When bred in captivity, Senegal parrots make excellent pets, and are known to be very chilled, fun, playful and entertaining to be around.
Senegal parrots that are pets and are hand fed tend to be very friendly, playful and can bond very strongly with their owners. These birds can even sometimes become one person birds which means that they can bond with one person, and shun other people in the household or family.
Whilst this does not always happen, and can happen quite frequently with this species, therefore it is best if all members of the household play with and interact with the Senegal parrot equally, to avoid creating a single person bond with the creature.
Despite this, Senegal parrots are extremely trainable, and have a knack for picking up habits from their owners, making them a great source of fun and entertainment.
Whilst these types of parrots are not as popular as the African Grey, they are becoming increasingly popular as they are very playful, and incredibly easy going, making them great companions for many owners.
Can a Senegal parrot talk?
Yes, surprisingly, Senegal parrots do have the ability to talk, but this is not what the breed is known for, whereas other parrots are more prone to talking and mimicking.
Senegal parrots are able to communicate, talk and mimic their owners, but they are typically much quieter than other parrots, and far less likely to talk, chirp and make noises all day.
It is for this reason that they are more known to talk and mimic than speak a lot. That being said, a Senegal parrot can learn to speak with some training, and can even remember a few dozen words and phrases once taught.
Although Senegal parrots are known to be much quieter than other species of parrot, they are not completely silent, so do not go thinking that this bird will be silent as the grave. All birds love to hear the sound of their own voices, and Senegal parrots are no different.
Whereas other birds love to screech, Senegal parrots prefer to make whistling, chirping or clucking noises, and are not typically loud birds.
At what age do Senegal parrots talk?
Whilst Senegal parrots are not well known for their ability to talk, most are able to talk and mimic if they want to. For most Senegal parrots, it is thought that they will start talking between 4 or 5 years old, however, some can start much sooner.
This does depend on how much time you spend with the parrot, and whether you encourage them to speak or talk.
Unlike other parrot species, Senegals are not really able to understand the meaning behind the words, or use them in context, but they will pick up on things that you say and your most repeated phrases. If you use similar words or phrases often, then your Senegal parrot is more likely to talk.
However, do not get one of these parrots on the basis that it will definitely talk. Some Senegal parrots can start talking from a few months old, and will repeat phrases that you say, whereas others can grow to 10 years old and never show an interest in speaking. It all depends on the particular personality of the bird, and whether you spend a lot of time talking and speaking to it.
How do you teach a Senegal parrot to talk?
Your best chance of teaching a Senegal parrot to talk is to spend a lot of time with it, and encourage vocalizations by repeating simple words and phrases. However, not all Senegal parrots will feel the need to talk, so it is important that you do not feel too disheartened if your efforts are wasted on your bird.
The first step in teaching your Senegal parrot to talk is to spend quality time with your bird, and create a close bond and relationship with your feathered friend. Build up a relationship of trust and respect, and try not to expect too much from your Senegal parrot.
Once you feel that your parrot is comfortable in your company, and confident enough, you can start repeating a few short words in front of it.
Most parrot owners will start with words that are simple, or two syllables such as ‘Hello’ or ‘Bye Bye’. You can also try phrases like ‘Morning’ or ‘Night-night’ to get your parrot accustomed to saying greetings and phrases when they see you.
You can also practice with your parrot’s name, and repeat that calmly to them until they start to understand and pick up on the name for themselves. The important thing is speaking in a calm, happy and chirpy voice, rather than getting angry or frustrated.
In addition, try to say the words in the same tone and in a positive manner to coax them into repeating it in the same way. You will find that parrots not only say the same phrases that you do, but they will say it in the same tone of voice and mimic the way you speak.
When you are speaking to your parrot, make sure that you pay attention to the way they listen to you. Some parrots may show signs that certain words or phrases interest them more, and once you notice this, you can stick to those phrases. Use the words that your parrot responds positively to the most, and this can become the training word that you focus on.
Once you have your training word, you can hone in on this, and just keep repeating that word as often as possible. Parrots mimic sounds through repetition, and so the only way your bird is going to say it is if you keep saying it, too.
Other owners suggest playing recordings or CDs with certain words on it. When you play these tapes around the bird, they are more likely to listen and pick up on certain phrases. The same goes for some birds that are in earshot of TVs and radios.
The whole process of encouraging your parrot to speak is going to be a long one. You have to spend a lot of time with them, and repeat the same words over and over again, which can be trialling.
However, the most vital part of the training process is not to become frustrated or discouraged with the bird. Some birds will respond very well, whereas others have no interest in speaking or mimicking. You will have to be very patient!