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Have Patience, and Don't Get Discouraged
Even if your bird never talks, the time you spend training will help strengthen the bond that you have with your pet. Photo (c) 2006 Alyson Burgess licensed to About.com, Inc.
The fastest way to encourage a bird to talk is to set up a training routine and work with it every day. Even this method, however, is not entirely guaranteed to work. While some birds pick up on human speech quite readily, some birds take months or even years to say their first word. Some will never talk at all -- even owners that work with their pets diligently sometimes end up with a bird that won't say a word.
If you feel like your bird is taking too long with his speech training, try teaching something a little bit easier, such as whistling. Many birds find whistling much easier than mimicking speech, and some may be more willing to give it a try for this reason.
With love, patience, and plenty of practice and training time, most birds that are members of the parrot family will learn to mimic something.
Pay attention to the vocalizations that your bird makes during the day. You may be surprised to find that you recognize some of them as environmental sounds that you hear every day in your home, like telephones, microwave buzzers, and doorbells.
Even if your bird never speaks a human word, you shouldn't feel slighted. Speech training, interaction, and socialization all help to strengthen the bond between you and your pet, so if your bird remains silent, you can still be assured that you'll get a loveable, intelligent, and interesting companion out of the deal -- and as far as owning a bird goes, that's the best part!