As I understand it, not all quaker parakeets are amenable to talking. The males are, moreso than the females... I've heard the best way to get a talking quaker parakeet is to buy one that you know talks :P
if you are trying to get one, you can try wetting them with a hose so they can't fly, that is what i have seen and that is the way my grandpa got 1 of them, and after you catch them you can dry them off with a towel
Maybe it's not the same for parakeets, but for the male cockatiel my family had when I was younger, it was repetition, repetition, repetition, and, oh, did I mention, repetition?
We actually bought a tape made for the purpose (don't know if they're still sold) and played it every day, all day (at least when no one was home) for weeks.
His repertoire included only a few things: I love you. Pretty bird. Shave and a haircut whistle, and a couple of other things I can't remember offhand. And he could bark like a dog and would answer our dog. The dog would always cock his head and look at the bird like, WTH are you, anyway?!?! LOL!!
If they are legal, often there are strict requirements that you have to comply with prior to having one, including banding.
And, if you're going to get one, I recommend getting one young from a breeder or even a pet store instead of capturing a wild one. It would be much more fun to have one that you can actually handle instead of capturing one that can be sick or that can't function without it's flock.
imo, anyway. I'm a big bird lover, I have an African Grey, and a Blue and gold macaw. <3 Neither one of them shut up...but they've learned everything merely from my interaction with them, and what they've learned from normal family routine, like yelling at the son or the cat, and they really mess with the dog: "Here, Cassie! Wanna nummy?"
Dog shows up to their playpen.
"GO LAY DOWN!!"
Dog runs for her life.
Both birds laugh. Literally. They sound just like me.
So what I've learned is that the key to teaching words is repetition, as well as the fact that they pick up on things that are exciting to them, but maybe not necessarily what you want to hear all the time, heh. ;)
***Edited By: Lorrix on 1/9/2007 7:20:05 PM*** Reason: added
He has his own distinct baby voice, where my grey is so good at imitating, that you quite literally can't tell the difference between him or the person he's imitating.
I play games with him, like "peekaboo" where I cover my face and play it with him, he tries to play back by hiding. I originally started this with a towel so he could get used to being toweled for vet appointments and wing clippings....now it's his favorite game.
Then I play "poke a belly" where I poke him in his tummy, and he likes that.
I play "tickle tickle" where I grab his feet and tickle them. I do this because it's made him comfortable with having his feet handled, makes it easier for nail trimming.
He also plays "duck duck goose" where I pat his head saying "duck duck duck" then I poke him in the belly and yell "GOOSE" This was a fun one to teach him until he started yelling "DUCK DUCK DUCK DUCK....GOOOOOOSE!" over and over again for hours straight.
He also plays "roll over, rover"...where he rolls over on his back. I originally wanted it to be a "play dead" trick but instead he picked up on yelling "roll over, rover" and so it stuck.
I spend quite a bit of time with the birds, so I'm sure that has a lot to do with how they pick up on things so quickly. They're a real kick in the pants, I enjoy their company more than I can put into words.
I like Macaws they are very cute and pretty birds. My anut got chased by one when she was younger. My mom said it was sooooo funny she was running so fast every one was laughting the story was very funny.
I grew up with alot of birds. I had a quaker and he was a 1 person bird liked no one but me. Also everytime my sister's parakeet landed on his cage he'd bite a toe off the parakeet (who we had to start calling stubby.)
I could tell you a funny story about our african grey. It imitated all of our voices perfectly. After all us kids moved out a friend of my mom's came over to visit. She heard " Come on in I'm upstairs." Which my mom said alot when people knocked on the door. Anyways that day my parents happened to be "busy". Her friend got the shockof her life. Needless to say after that they kept the door locked.
We also had a patagonian conure which I hated with a passion for one reason only. It imitated my mother yelling "Jenifer Jenifer" like she did every morning to wake me up. He would do it for hours on end. It was enough to drive you crazy. I think he was even louder than my mother. He could even do the sound of her banging on the door. His other favorite one was the microwave beep and the phone.
And if you are wanting to get a pet bird I would recommend a breeder so you can bond with your bird as soon as it hatches and before it goes home with you.
prahadanes that sounds so funny. When my mom lived on this farm the owner lived on it and had over 100 birds. All taken care of rescues she breed a few. Well my mom went there every day to colect(sp) chicken eggs. She would knock and say Ms.Coal Ms.Coal. Well one day the bird started doing it. Ms.Coal was like what Judy what? She was so mad when she found out it was the bird LOL.
Then there were two in the cage together. Well the boy would wisper something in the females ear like...pspsptpst. Then she would go whaaaawhanoahhhahhh. Like he made her sad it is so funny LOL.
My oldest son, Chris has a Quaker that he hand raised. He can say alot already. Repetition is the key. I taught him to say "What'cha doin'?" just by saying it every time I walked up to his cage. Since Chris hand raised him, the Quaker clearly prefers my son but he will tolerate the rest of us handling him. He kisses, cuddles and chases Chris around though. Chris said it's best to hand raise them. It takes alot of time but it's worth it. Also, Quakers live for a very long time so make sure that this is something you really want before you get one (just like with any pet). They need alot of entertainment and can get very noisy when ignored.