Can Cockatiels Talk? (+How To Teach Cockatiels To Talk)

Owners want to find ways to communicate with cockatiels. Thankfully, cockatiels are intelligent animals that have proven to be smart enough to be trained. While cockatiels cannot understand human language, they can be trained to mimick their environmental sound.

Cockatiels do have the ability to speak. However, they are not as vocal as other bird pets. Cockatiels are only mimicking phrases they have previously heard, and do not know the meaning of these phrases. A very well-trained cockatiel can be taught to say specific sounds or phrases prompted by a hand motion or vocal cue.

Geting your cockatiel to talk is not an overnight process. You must have patience to get the best out of your birds.

This article will be useful in answering your question and has given you some great information to better understand your cockatiel and how to train them to talk.

Can A Cockatiel Talk At All?

Cockatiels do have the ability to talk and mimick sounds that it hears.

When kept around humans, cockatiels are know to reproduce the human sounds or ‘talk.’

Most people think that cockatiels are just remarkably intelligent, and that is why they can speak. The majority would be surprised to learn that these birds are just mimicking the common sounds in their environment.

Besides this, the sex of the cockatiel also makes a difference in their aptitude for talking. The males will talk, and the females less so.

How Long Does It Take For A Cockatiel To Talk?

With intense hard work and love, cockatiels can usually be trained within 2-3 weeks.

There are always some possibilities of failure therefore you have to stay calm if your cockatiels do not learn in one go.

Do not scold your birds as one bad incident can lead to drawbacks. Scolding them can take you at square one.

Also, if you let the cockatiel enjoy their treat when they do not respond, they will quickly accept it as their routine.

They’re going to think that this behavior is natural. Then, you’re going to have to undergo another preparation regime.

How Do You Teach A Cockatiel To Talk?

There are a few tips and tricks that you can follow to make the process of training easier. It can really disheartening to go through a lot of training and make little or no progress.

To start with, you must have a good bond with your cockatiel. Spend time with your bird handling them every day and making sure that you are close with your bird will help a whole lot. Gaining their trust is likely the most crucial aspect of training.

Never start out by trying to teach your cockatiels, long and complex words, as this may confuse them and could impede your progress, whereas using a shorter word could allow them to flourish.

Furthermore, give positive reinforcement to your cockatiels when they are able to say a word to you.

Praising them is something that they love and will help to inform them that they are doing a good thing. Giving rewards and treats is another way that positive reinforcement can work.

I would advise you to save the highest praise, like treats, for when they make a breakthrough with a word that has been giving them trouble or they manage to say a word very clearly.

Finally, repetition is also a very crucial key in helping your cockatiel to learn how to talk. Be patient with them and be sure to give them the time to pick up the word and find a way to repeat it to you.

Be sure to repeat simple words often and eventually your birds should be able to talk!

Can Cockatiels Understand You?

Cockatiels understand words using cues. These can be conscious cues, such as verbal commands and gestures.

These can also be unconscious cues, such as body language and tone of voice. With training, owners can teach cockatiels what these cues mean and how to react to them.

Owners have successfully trained cockatiels for decades. This shows that, to an extent, cockatiels are able to understand human communication.

Of course, your cockatiel won’t be holding a conversation with you. However, cockatiels do have the ability to recognize, and to respond to, human speech.

Do Female Cockatiels Talk More?

The sex of a cockatiles does make a difference.

It is not the female, but the male cockatiels tend to be more vocal.

Male cockatiels have the ability learn to speak faster than a female cockatiel. That is not to say that a female cockatiel will not learn, because they do. The male cockatiel is just usually more likely.

It is natural that the male is likelier than the female to vocalize due to the distinct male-female roles in the animal kingdom.

Do Cockatiels Know When They Are Saying?

Cockatiels are not intelligent as humans.

To a cockatiel, they are just repeating what they hear. You must understand that cockatiels only tend to mimick their environmental sounds.

Sometimes you might think that your bird is understanding whatsoever you spoke, however it is not totally true. Only a few times will a cockatiel understand and respond to our body language as they speak.

Common Cockatiel Sounds

There are a wide range of cockatiel noises you will hear in your home if you decide to become a bird parent.

You should consider learning how to make the difference between them to know the standard cpckatiel sounds meaning.

This can be important because a happy and healthy cockatiel makes some sounds, whereas an unhappy or alarmed one makes different ones. Here are the most common ones you will come across.

  • Talking: Cockatiels talk to each other using a very broad range of sounds from a bird chirp, a contact call and chatter to trills and more.
  • Whistling: Whistling is a sound used by a bird to express its happiness. Some cockatiels parents train their birds to whistle along with them or whistle after a tune.
  • Screaming: This is a somewhat untypical sound that can indicate pain, distress, or even fear.
  • Singing: It’s quite common for you to hear singing cockatiels if they are in a good mood. But they can make other noises, such as chatter when they are upset, or they can grind their beaks as they prepare to go to sleep.

Hearing your cockatiels chirping isn’t uncommon, either, and it also means that your birds are happy. Clicks are yet another type of cockatiel noises that is quite common and also an indication of happy birds.


Hello, I am Mohini, the founder of this blog. I am a qualified Animal Nutrition. I am here to help everyone understand their pets better.

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