How to Train a Cockatiel to Talk

Bralno razumevanje: Vstavi manjkajoče dele besedila a-f na ustrezno prazno mesto 1-6. / Fill in each gap 1-6 with the missing parts of the text a-f.

Cockatiels can make great pets and teaching them to talk can be a great way for you and your pet to bond. A talking cockatiel repeats syllables, making a robotic replication of words or noises you say to it. Your cockatiel’s speech ___ (1), you must first teach it to talk and then work with the bird to reinforce and expand its vocabulary.

 1 Train the bird in a quiet place. This will allow your bird to focus on you and your words. If your bird is easily distracted you can even try talking to it while its cage is covered. This will eliminate visual distractions as well.

 2 Introduce the bird to one phrase at a time. Keep it ___ (2) remember that the phrase should be simple, containing one or two words that are relatively high pitched.

Since cockatiels have high pitches voices, ___ (3)

Use the words at the right time, such as don’t teach it “Good morning” in the night when you are about to sleep, and vice versa.

 3 Focus on words that your bird “likes.” Look at the cockatiel’s eyes. Are its pupils getting larger when you say a certain word? Does the bird’s crest go up to indicate excitement or interest? If you see neither, you may not be teaching the bird a word it likes saying.

The cockatiel may not be repeating your phrase ___(4)

 4 Strengthen the behavior with positive reinforcement. Give the bird lots of treats and attention whenever the bird says a word correctly. Depending on your birds preferences, there isn’t really a “right” thing to do. Some birds may like human food better, but some may like special bird treats. What ever you do, make it positive.

 5 Repeat the phrase often and be patient. No matter how smart your birdie is, it will not be Einstein. You must be patient, ___(5) One single hand movement can do this, so be careful.

 6 Complicate and increase the phrases you teach the cockatiel. Once your bird has one phrase down, give it more to learn. ___ (6)

Try narrating things you do for your cockatiel. When you feed it an apple, say “want a treat?” If you do this enough, and your bird likes talking, it may start saying the phrase when it sees the treat coming.

Try whistling at your cockatiel. If you give it a simple series of notes repeatedly, it just might repeat it back to you. Be warned, however, that once a cockatiel learns how to whistle, it may choose whistling over talking. This is because whistling is easier for the bird.


a) easy and short and use one that you say frequently, for instance the bird’s name. If you want to teach it something other than its name,

b) for other reasons too. For instance, it may be that the bird is not physically able to say it.

c) After all, you don’t want to hear just one phrase from your bird all day.

d) will never sound as clear as that of a parrot, but with some work you should be able to understand the words it says to you. In order to get your cockatiel to talk to you

e) you may not be able to teach it words that you say in a low tone.

f) otherwise your bird will become frightened of you and you will have lost all the progress you have achieved.


Rešitve naloge / Answer Key