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Go Back   Talk Budgies Forums > Budgie Talk > Taming and Bonding


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  #1  
Old 12-06-2016, 05:40 PM
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Default Tips or Advice for Best Practices in Speech / Mimicking Training

I'm starting another thread as I didn't want to inadvertently hijack a picture thread.

Aluz commented on Jasmine's* video (*parront of blue & yellow Reggie).... that he might be a good talker. I agree. It's interesting to hear his mumbling at a young age.

I'm looking for any tips, best practices or links for the best ways to work with your budgie for talking training.

My budgie says "Pretty Bird" in a very mumbled way.... and hasn't really come up with any other phrases even though I've been working on "hello" and "good morning." I think he picks up sounds from other birds I play for him on youtube. (Trills that I only hear from one particular bird; and I think he has incorporated some R2D2 noises from the "R2D2 budgie.")

I don't think he'll be as clear as some others... he didn't get that early of a start since he was almost 5 months when I brought him home... but I think it's cute that he tries, and I'd like to keep working with him. It was interesting that he picked up "pretty bird" first... b/c I started with that, and soon after tried "whatcha doin." (which he never really picked up... not yet at least.)

It was interesting when I first heard him "practicing." He used to only chirp, and there was a distinct moment when I could hear him making noises to himself that I hadn't heard before. It was cute... it was like he was off in a corner practicing to himself. ...I kind of enjoy his jibberish too. I know he's saying something.... no clue what it is.

I know it's best to keep training sessions brief... and I've found he seems more interested later in the day or earlier in the morning when he's not as excited & energetic.

I've never really felt like I know what I'm doing with respect to speech training, and would love any advice or links or any good ways to go about this.

I've tried to incorporate treats when he says "Pretty Bird"... but he never repeats it when I say it.... so I've not been that successful in positive reinforcement on that phrase. He doesn't say it very often or very clearly... but I can recognize it.

I've also seen that some budgies seem to sound more clear as they get older... so I'm wondering if Biz might have better diction as he gets older and has more practice under his belt. (Or, he may not. He's pretty committed to and extra-passionate about his chirping. His nickname is "Sir Chirps A-Lot")

I took a break from speech training and focused on coming when called... which is coming along (if he wants the millet badly enough).... but I think I'll focus on talking again.

Thanks....!

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Old 12-06-2016, 06:27 PM
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Before going into the speech sessions and in order to have better results, it's important to already have established a decent trusting bond with the pet bird and to be able to have his/her full attention and genuine interest when more closely interacting with him/her.
By getting the budgie used to verbal communication right from the start and by using the praise words as a reward during the regular taming sessions will be a plus.

When teaching my budgies to say words, I don't use recordings (not even my own) nor videos of other budgies.
I have short one-on-one sessions with them (10 - 15 minutes max) where I will repeat the word while keeping close proximity with the budgie.
Being able to capture the budgie's interest and maintaining a positive and inviting atmosphere and connecting with him/her by using the words and keeping eye contact is the way to go for me and makes the whole experience more special not only to the budgie but also to me.

A budgie's age is not linked to the clarity of the words. When a budgie starts to say a given word and it doesn't yet seem to be perfected, then we can continue to repeat this word and chances are high that with practice the budgie will learn to say the word in a more intelligible and clear way.
This is what I have noticed with my talkers is that thy perfect their learnt words.

How fast and how clear a budgie will say a word will depend on the budgie's natural talent.
For example with my Luigi, I hardly made any effort to teach the words, he is a natural at it, he didn't even need proper speech sessions.
For my Leonel, he took longer to learn his words and he doesn't say them as well as Luigi does, his repertoire is more limited too.
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Old 12-06-2016, 06:50 PM
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Thanks Aluz. This is great information. I backed off on the formal speech training awhile back because I felt like I need to just focus on the bond and trust. That felt good and definitely like the right thing to do... because I definitely felt like trust increased, the bond progressed and soon enough he started saying "pretty bird." ... I felt like the speech training session didn't feel that fun for Biz so I backed off. I wanted him to be happy & to have fun. (As I write this he has a box of plastic items and birdie bagels he is throwing on the floor. He is having a great time.)

Our bond has definitely improved by leaps and bounds... so I need to figure out how to make the speech training fun & special. I can kind of tell when he's interested, so I seize the moment and he'll let me speak very close to him & he turns his head with interest.

I'm going to take a break from the video budgies. That might be confusing.

How does "praise words as a reward" work? I say "good boy" very sweetly when he does something good.... most often when we're doing "fly to me" training and it's accompanied with millet.

When he steps up enthusiastically and with cooperation... I always say "thank you." (followed by compliments... "you're so good... you're so smart.") He really vibes off of compliments. He starts to chirp when I tell him how great he is. He really likes me to lay it on thick.

Biz seems like he might be more like your Leonel. He seems to want to do it and in the right mindset he is interested... but not a natural. I think he might have picked up "hello" because he's saying something other than "Pretty Bird"... two syllables and definitely sounds like a mimic.

I've tried click sounds and smooch noises, which he is curious about, but that hasn't really worked. I think he prefers words. He kind of just looks at me like I'm a wacko when I make those noises. He'll look interested... but not really.

Thanks again.
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Old 12-06-2016, 06:54 PM
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What I tend to do with my Reggie is play certain music in the background when teaching him to talk. ( His favourite being Cyndi Lauper right now ) and I just say it in a very calm voice. I also make kiss noises too him and whistle too and it seems to work for him. Also I compliment him when he's done good as he likes the compliments too. Just keep at it and I'm sure your biz will pick it up soon!


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Old 12-06-2016, 07:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Abeyance View Post
What I tend to do with my Reggie is play certain music in the background when teaching him to talk. ( His favourite being Cyndi Lauper right now ) and I just say it in a very calm voice. I also make kiss noises too him and whistle too and it seems to work for him. Also I compliment him when he's done good as he likes the compliments too. Just keep at it and I'm sure your biz will pick it up soon!


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Thanks Jasmine for the tips...! I appreciate it.
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Old 12-06-2016, 10:13 PM
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I think that no matter how young you start, it still depends on the budgie.

As a general rule, budgies learn to talk much better when they're younger. However, this only goes for budgies that choose to talk, and certainly not all do, or are as devoted. So, you have some birds who don't talk at all, some birds who pick up one or two words and stick to those, and then birds like Disco who know hundreds of words or phrases and derive pleasure from learning new words.

I think you're doing all the right things, the tips above will definitely contribute to giving Biz ample resources to build his vocabulary up if he would like It's very cool that he already is saying a few words!

Best of luck!
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Old 12-06-2016, 11:10 PM
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Originally Posted by aluz View Post
with my Luigi, I hardly made any effort to teach the words, he is a natural at it, he didn't even need proper speech sessions.
For my Leonel, he took longer to learn his words and he doesn't say them as well as Luigi does, his repertoire is more limited too.
I watched some videos of both Luigi and Leonel and I fell in love with them both. They're rrreeallllyyy cute. They looked really focused and happy talking away. Luigi is one of my favorite color mutations. He's a light green greywing? Chartreuse is one of my favorite colors and the color reminds me of that.


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Originally Posted by StarlingWings View Post
I think that no matter how young you start, it still depends on the budgie.!
I'm really starting to see that. It's fascinating, and you just don't know until their personality unfolds.
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Originally Posted by StarlingWings View Post
As a general rule, budgies learn to talk much better when they're younger. However, this only goes for budgies that choose to talk, and certainly not all do, or are as devoted. So, you have some birds who don't talk at all, some birds who pick up one or two words and stick to those, and then birds like Disco who know hundreds of words or phrases and derive pleasure from learning new words.

I think you're doing all the right things, the tips above will definitely contribute to giving Biz ample resources to build his vocabulary up if he would like It's very cool that he already is saying a few words!

Best of luck!
Thanks...! I was very surprised because I felt like he had a rocky start. He had scaly mites that had to be treated, I was a first time owner and was learning as I went along (instead of fully researching in advance; which is normally what I would have done but acquired him unexpectedly), he was older, etc. So I wasn't necessarily expecting him to do that but he showed me otherwise.

I'll keep working with him and see where he goes with it. ... Do you have any idea what Aluz may have meant by this... " by using the praise words as a reward during the regular taming sessions will be a plus " ... is there some sort of conditioning I need to do around praise words? That's the only part that confused me a bit.

thx......


(p.s. Disco really is amazing. He is intriguingly motivated by learning new phrases. He loves it a lot. I also really enjoy how all budgies sound a bit different. Lots of different noises and different voices.)
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Old 12-06-2016, 11:46 PM
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Aluz meant that budgies who are bonded to us will feel the same fulfillment that children and other people do when we use our voices to praise their actions. When taming or training a bird, using a happy, positive voice when they do something desirable is a great way to increase their confidence and help them learn the new behaviour

My girl has gotten to the point where she doesn't need treats to do something, if she's in a good mood and knows it makes me happy, she'll do it.
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Old 12-07-2016, 12:27 AM
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Originally Posted by StarlingWings View Post
Aluz meant that budgies who are bonded to us will feel the same fulfillment that children and other people do when we use our voices to praise their actions. When taming or training a bird, using a happy, positive voice when they do something desirable is a great way to increase their confidence and help them learn the new behaviour

My girl has gotten to the point where she doesn't need treats to do something, if she's in a good mood and knows it makes me happy, she'll do it.

Mind blown. More on this tomorrow.


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Old 12-07-2016, 03:36 PM
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Originally Posted by StarlingWings View Post
Aluz meant that budgies who are bonded to us will feel the same fulfillment that children and other people do when we use our voices to praise their actions. When taming or training a bird, using a happy, positive voice when they do something desirable is a great way to increase their confidence and help them learn the new behaviour

My girl has gotten to the point where she doesn't need treats to do something, if she's in a good mood and knows it makes me happy, she'll do it.

I think that is absolutely amazing. ... I get it however. I think it's developed over time as the budgie bond grows. I've only had Biz a little over 3 months. I've seen great progress in that time, but I understand it's a matter of working with him consistently.

I didn't really think that Biz cared that much about my positive happy voice, but he pretty much does I think. He's paying attention. He reacts vocally when I speak to him in certain ways.

I watched some vidoes of Mallorn and she is the sweetest thing. I'd only seen photos and I knew how pretty she is... but I didn't realize how sweet she is as well. I loved your post on the misconceptions around female budgies. After seeing your videos of Mallorn... that opened my mind to owning a female budgie. .... I think I've also read that that the females can get pretty attached to their owner. And she is clearly attached to you.

Lastly, you and I have a lot of the exact same toys. I know a lot of people have similar toys... but it seemed toy for toy I happened to pick the same things you did.

Also... I loved the phone book idea...!

Lots of awesome photos & videos in your threads.
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