It is a fact that parrots can imitate human speech, but what many bird owners do not realise is that the same methods of teaching birds to talk can be used to teach them to sing. Birds naturally try to duplicate the tones and notes of the sounds they learn.
It will take some practice and patience, but if your parrot can talk, you should be able to teach it to sing.
Start with speech
Teaching your feathered friend bird tricks can be fun, but it is important not to expect too much from your parrot. Some individual birds, for example, even those whose species is known to talk, will simply not imitate anything.
Before you teach your bird a song, you should determine whether your bird has the ability (and the will) to talk. If your bird is already saying a few words, then you are ready to go - if not, you should start by encouraging speech in your bird, and then move on to include the musical aspect at a later date.
Choose a suitable training area
The location where you train your bird can affect the success or failure of your training sessions. Choosing a suitable training area is not as easy as it sounds, and getting it just right can be quite a challenge. Bear in mind that your bird will be most comfortable in an area that is not too strange but not too familiar either.
Choose a room or a part of the house away from the cage of the bird and areas where it normally spends most of its time, but that is also free from a lot of foot traffic. Ensure that the space is free from clutter and distractionsand that the room safe doors and windows to avoid the risk of flying away. And avoid any room with mirrorsAs most parrot owners know, these birds cannot resist their reflections.
Choose a song that your bird likes
Birds that like to imitate sounds are often more attracted to certain sounds than others. If you are keen on teaching your bird to sing a song, it is a good idea to paying attention to the types of sounds your bird seems to like. Try turning on the radio to see how your bird reacts to different types of music. Is it more interested in songs with lots of bass or higher notes? Does it respond more to male voices or female voices?
You may even discover certain artists or genres that your bird seems to enjoy more than others. Choosing a nice, happy song to teach your bird is normally the best way to make your feathered friend sing quickly and accurately.
Teaching your bird to sing is not that different from teaching your bird to talk. It is important to teach your pet do not rush. Start slowly, repeat only the first few words of a tune and then pick up more as your bird learns. Try the training sessions at the same time every day to keep.
It can also help to use audio editing software to make a loop of the first line or two of a song that you can play over and over again in front of your bird.
In this way, your pet will start to recognise the way sounds and tones match and will be able to process exactly which types of vocalisations are needed to reproduce the sounds it hears.
Sing for your bird
Because parrots like to imitate, you should demonstrate the behaviour that you want your bird to copy. Once you know what kind of music he likes, start singing the song you want him to learn. Ideally, you will close to his cage, so that he can see and hear you. If your bird begins to imitate you and sings the song correctly, offer a treat for a positive reinforcement.
Be patient and practice often
As with all things, practice breeds perfection. Birds learn best through repetition. Do not expect to train your bird overnight - this will only lead to frustration for both you and your feathered friend. Instead, book 10 to 15 minutes every day to work with your bird. This has several advantages:
- It will establish a routine that your bird looks forward to participating in.
- It is also likely to produce quicker results for you and your pet, as establishing a training schedule will establish consistent exercise patterns.
Problems that may arise
Do not go too fast during this training as the bird may become confused and frustrated. And never shout at or hit your bird.
Male birds tend to learn to speak and sing more easily than female birds. If you have a female bird, she can still learn to sing, but bear in mind that it may take longer.
And younger male birds are easier to train than older ones; not only are they more alert, the physiology of birds changes as they get older. Singing, whistling and talking are all behaviours that birds use during mating, and just like with humans, their testosterone decreases as they get older, so they vote less.