Are You Aware Of These Cat Tongue Facts?

Cat lovers spend lots of time detailing about different things that are remarkable about felines. It can be their eyes that can see in the dark, super-sensitive whiskers on their faces and legs and their paw pads which are tailor-made for silent stalking. We can go on and on about the different features of cats. But the one thing that stands out in a feline‘s body is their tongue. It has been researched and found out by mechanical engineers at Georgia Tech employing 3D technology that a cat’s tongue is more like a sandpaper. It is more like an ultimate hairbrush that aids in grooming the kitty.

The cat’s tongue also consists of small, backward-facing barbs made up of keratin, the material that is in your fingernails. A single swipe of your cat’s brush like tongue not only detangles your kitty’s fur, but also gets rid of any knots, thereby removing dirt and fleas. It even spreads beneficial oils all over the cat’s body and even improves blood circulation.

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Let us now look at some of the interesting facts about a cat’s tongue:

The rough stuff on your cat’s tongue are known as papillae

You get a rough sensation when your kitty licks. It is as a result of papillae on its tongue. Although we, humans also have papillae known as taste buds they feel unusually distinct. Papillae on a cat’s tongue are longer and have more keratin which gives them the abrasive, dry feeling. There has been no scientific research to prove the reason for which the cat’s papillae looks and feels so different, but they do play a crucial role in assisting cats to stay hygienic and flourishing.

Cats cannot taste sweets, but they may taste other things that human beings cannot

After years of research it has been found that cats do not perceive sugar as done by most mammals. But the same study clarifies that cats can taste other things that human beings cannot like adenosine triphosphate, a compound that supplies energy in every living cell.

Cat’s tongue plays a critical role in their health

Cat’s tongue is the most engaging part of their anatomy. The tongue aids in licking the cat’s coats thereby keeping it clean. It even regulates their body temperatures, stuffing up the fur in the winter and wetting it down with the aid of saliva to stay air-cooled in blistering summer days. It even collects fur, fleas, skin flakes and dirt. These debris are swallowed by the feline and digested by the stomach acid. If it cannot be digested properly, this is particularly a case for long-haired or older cats, then hairballs may form. This can result in problems if the hairballs are not fully digested. Long-haired cats use their tongue to groom themselves, which aids in getting rid of loose hair.

If your kitty is not grooming herself, it can point towards a health concern

If your cat’s tongue is not grooming the feline then it is time to visit your veterinarian. Poor grooming can be due to obesity, disease, malnutrition, pain and other issues. Most cats are very fastidious about their appearance and their ability to clean themselves, which makes them feel good. Overweight cats have tangled fur and flaky skin on the lower parts of the body which can increase their discomfort.

Even if your feline is overgrooming herself it can be due to stress or other issues

If you see bald spots developing in the cat, it is time to rush to your veterinarian. The veterinarian would help you ascertain whether the kitty is pulling down hair with the aid of the tongue, or losing it due to a problem. Due to stress and emotional issues the feline’s tongue goes into the hyper-grooming drive. There can be other causes too, including: allergy, mites and thyroid conditions.

Source: http://EzineArticles.com/9710388

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How to Handle Nervous Cats

A few cats are extremely calm. But not all cats are tolerant and silent, you’ll often face cats having aggressive and eager behavior. Such cats may cause some worry or disappointment for their masters despite the fact that their owners are willing to do everything to make their pets happy. If you consider yourself to be such a cat master, then you need to focus on increasing your knowledge regarding cats and their behaviors in order to keep your cat calmer and relax.

What is Behind Your Cat’s Nervousness?

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There are a lot of factors which can make your pet cat confuse and nervous. The most common cause for such nervousness is fear. You need to make sure that nothing in your home or surroundings is making the cat nervous or afraid. Also, if your cat has an unforgettable negative experience during the childhood, then such an incident or experience can lead to uncomfortable attitude. These negative childhood experiences can be of various types such as facing homelessness, improper treatment, bad social life experience related to cats, humans, dogs or even other species.

Similarly, change in environment can also make the cat feel nervous. For example, if you just purchased your cat and bring him/her home, then this change in environment can also make the cat feel confused or uncomfortable. But such situations can easily be improved with the passage of time, once your pet spent some time with you and your family provided no major trouble exists in the environment.

If you see your cat is trying to hide from others, don’t panic. Keep in mind that if you’ll provide her proper environment, she will soon overcome her nervousness. Hopefully, after some time, she will prefer to play with you instead of preferring to live in isolation.

This is a fact that most cats have an instinct for survival. This trait can lead to fight or flight reaction in particular situation which may cause the cat to run away or hide somewhere. Also, the presence of other cats in the surroundings can make the cat more nervous and it is observed that new cats often show defensive behavior in such situations. But such a situation keeps getting better day by day, all you need to do is to show some patience and wait.

There are times when your cat will be ill and like everybody else, cats consider illness as a scary situation. Therefore, you need to keep in mind that during the time of illness, your cat can show anxious behavior. Try to take your cat to doctor as soon as possible in order to get her out of discomfort and illness. This will surely help to make the cat healthy and relaxed in a minimal amount of time.

The presence of other pets especially dogs can also be a source of nervousness among cats. But no need to worry here as well, with the passage of time, your cat will adjust with dogs or other pets.

Conclusion

The main thing you must understand is that cats are basically sensitive species and needs proper love, care and safe environment to live happily and comfortably. Just provide the proper environment to your pet cats and surely, you’ll get rid of all the problems related to your pet’s behavior. However, this may take some time, so be patient.

Source: http://EzineArticles.com/9698382

Cages and Toys for Budgies

Choosing a cage for your Budgies is extremely important. The following are some of the tips for someone searching for a suitable cage for their budgies.

Budgies are extremely active birds. When choosing a cage it is important to ensure that the cage is wide enough for the birds to fly across the cage and exercise themselves.

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Place two perches on either ends of the cages for the birds to perch themselves. The perches should be at least an half an inch thick to prevent damage to the budgies’ feet.

The bars of the bars should be spaced not more than 1/2 inch apart. A larger spacing can cause budgies to stick their heads out of the cage with the risk of the head getting trapped between the bars.

There should be a sufficient number of horizontal bars as budgies are avid climbers and love to climb the cage walls.

The cage should ideally be rectangular in shape. Avoid circular cages as they make budgies a bit insecure.

The cage should have a removable tray at the bottom to remove waste and keep the cage clean.

The cage should have doors which can be secured effectively. Budgies are clever birds and will soon find a way to open doors that are not adequately fastened.

Budgies are intelligent and playful creatures. They love to play with toys, bits of paper and whatever they can find. It is good to provide your budgies with toys they can play with. The adage “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy” holds true for Budgies too.

Selecting Toys for your Budgies

A wide varieties of toys are available for your budgies. Rings, steps, geometric blocks and a whole lot of designs. Budgies love climbing and toys such as a block of steps provide endless entertainment to budgies. Bells are another great idea. Rings and hoops hung from the ceiling of the budgie cage provide interesting perches.

Beads also make good toys for your birds. Beads can be used individually or strung up into beautiful shapes which can also look decorative.

A mirror placed in the cage also provides entertainment for your budgies

When designing or buying toys for your budgies you must take some precautions.

The toys should not be painted as paint can be toxic.

Do not use metals such as zinc or lead in the toys

Wood if used should be untreated.

Do not use glue.

Toys should not have small holes or cracks/splits in which the feet of the birds can get caught.

Check the toys for sharp edges which can injure the bird.

Source: http://EzineArticles.com/9147226

Interesting Tidbits About Birds

Bird lovers know that these inquisitive and social creatures make ideal pets that can provide plenty of entertainment and companionship. While all birds need basic housing, nutritious food and plenty of watchful care, it is important to understand the features that are unique to each species that may affect their health and happiness. Whether you are considering a pet bird or already have one of your own, check out these interesting tidbits about birds that can provide more insight into their behavior.

Birds Can Outlive Their Owner

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Before choosing a bird as a pet, it is important for you to know that many birds have extremely long life spans. Canaries, budgies and lovebirds can all live eight years or more, and macaws and cockatoos can live well beyond 40 years. For this reason, many bird owners appoint a guardian for their bird to ensure continuous care in the event that it outlives them.

Mushrooms are Harmful to Birds

While you can watch as your pet bird happily gobbles up many of the fresh fruits and vegetables that you put on your plate, it may come as a surprise that certain foods are on the forbidden list. Mushrooms are one that can be especially dangerous because the stems and caps of certain types have led to liver failure in birds. They also cause digestive disorders in parrots.

Birds Use Body Language to Communicate

Most pet owners are familiar with common actions performed by dogs and cats to communicate with their companions, but birds also convey emotions through shifting their feathers and assuming a specific stance. For example, loose, ruffled feathers may mean that a bird is happy; however, flared wings or shoulders may mean that a bird is either getting ready to fight or interested in courting. Many people are also surprised to find that birds will sometimes wag their tails as a greeting to their owner.

Even Small Birds Eat a Lot

When observing birds, it is easy to notice that it seems they are always eating. Whether they are outdoors eating small insects or a pet consuming their nutritious feed, it is necessary for a bird to eat at least half their body weight each day to be able to survive. Pet owners should be conscious of this fact so that they can plan their bird’s feeding routine accordingly. Birds also prefer variety in their diet so include the occasional treat in your pet’s bowl.

Sensory Stimulation is Important for Happiness

Due to the social nature of birds, it is critical to provide them with constant stimulation that they can use to keep boredom at bay and find comfort. Colorful toys, jingly bells and climbing structures can all enhance a bird’s cage. Birds also notice change in their environment so you may want to trade out toys from time to time. If you must leave your bird alone during the day, use a radio or television to provide auditory stimulation that is similar to social conversations.

Interacting with your bird regularly has its share of rewards. Through chirps, mimicking and even repeating words, this pet can show happiness and forge a long lasting bond with its owner. Understanding and responding to the finer nuances that make birds unique will enhance your relationship with your favorite avian companion while safeguarding their health and longevity.

Source: http://EzineArticles.com/9163966

Basic Tricks for Birds

Birds are clever animals and are good companion pets. They can be taught easily with the right training preparation and techniques. Being able to teach a pet a new trick is a very rewarding experience for its owner. Training animals will not just make them smarter. It is also a good ground to build a trusting relationship with them and to eventually understand them better.

The first thing to remember when training a bird is to be realistic with your goals. Just like any other animals, a bird has its own nature and character. You must always remember that they also have good days and bad days. There are times when they seem so sharp and can be easily trained. However, there are also occasions wherein they will not follow commands despite of your extreme effort. The important thing is to learn their cues and to understand their moods. Birds have short attention span. Therefore, it is best to train them for just 15 minutes per session. You can do this for 2-3 times a day.

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The most basic thing that your bird should learn is how to step-up on your finger. When teaching this trick, make sure to always position yourself above your pet and never below. You should always look higher or taller from your pet’s point of view. This position tells it that you are its master and no one else. This will teach your bird that you have the authority and that it should focus.

To teach your pet to step on your finger, you may use the command “step-up”. What you need to do is to position your finger against the lower breast of your bird, a litter higher than its feet. Talk with it through your magic words and persuade it to step on your finger. When it obeys, you can reward it with praises or treats. You can say “good job”. Repeat the stepping-up trick and the verbal commands until your bird has the interest. But make sure to end it when it starts to show boredom cues.

Towel training is very important for your bird to learn. Training your bird to be familiar to towels is important because you will be utilizing towels for different petting situations. Towels are used in giving medication, hygiene or when treating an injury. During the towel training, make sure to only use white colored towel and nothing else. Bright colored towels may frighten your pet and affect its concentration. For your bird to get accustomed to the towel, you can start by placing treats on the cloth to entice your pet to step on it and eventually to become comfortable with it. Once it is already accustomed with it, you can try wrapping its behind and placing your other hand’s thumb and middle finger at the sides of the neck and the index finger on the top of its head to stabilize the neck.

Teaching birds what not to bite is also a useful trick. You can use a biting stick to teach your bird what is appropriate to bite and what is not. Chopsticks can be used as biting sticks. Position the stick within the bird’s reach and encourage it to bite. When the bird obeys, praise it and give it some treats. This will give your bird the idea that only the biting stick is allowed to be bitten. Veterinary approved deterrent called bitter apple spray can also be used to safeguard your furniture from your pet’s biting tendencies. You just have to spray it to the things that you do not want to be bitten by your pet.

Training pets requires a lot of patience and commitment. Start with the most basic and progress to more complex ones as time goes by. Mutual trust and respect is built between the owner and the pet along the training sessions. Rewarding them with their favorite treats from time to time will help you to motivate them and win their focus.

Source: http://EzineArticles.com/9176546

Discover How You Can Have The Best Budgie Aviary In Town

A purpose-built budgie aviary needs to complement the colourful personalities of its inmates. Here are three important design features that should be incorporated in every budgie aviary.

1. Type of Aviary

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A walk in aviary fixed to the ground is ideal for budgerigars. While it can take any shape in order to fill whatever space is available, a square or rectangular aviary is usually best and the most economical because it can be easily subdivided. There needs to be an indoor area to provide shelter and an outdoor area where the birds can enjoy the fresh air. The main advantages of this design are:

it allows budgies to fossick on the ground for food.

it provides more room and better flying space from the ground up to the roof

it can be planted with plants and shrubs to simulate the natural environment.

it is easy for people to enter and move around inside, which makes the tasks of cleaning the aviaries and catching the birds much simpler.

2. Perches

Budgies stand for most of their lives, and so, in order to prevent foot problems, their feet need to be exercised by standing on different-sized perches made of different materials.

Natural wood perches are best, as they have a variety of diameters and are good to chew on. Rope perches are also excellent, being made of a different, softer material and offering a variety of sizes.

Budgies are energetic so exercise is essential for their good health and quality of life. They need plenty of space to fly around in. Thus perches should be placed in a sheltered area out in the open, and arranged so they don’t impede flight and allow the budgies to fly the longest distances possible.

3. Play Areas

Third, budgies are playful, and highly intelligent, and so need play areas where they can amuse themselves. These areas should have baths, greenery, and toys such as bells, ropes, and swings. Other toys that are easily shredded also appeal to their natural inquisitiveness (and natural destructiveness!). A clever trick if the flight has a netting roof is to lay an irrigation hose over the top of the aviary so that the birds can take a shower on hot days.

If you are serious about the health and well-being of your feathered friends, then you need to have a first class budgie aviary. Don’t forget, budgerigars can live for up to 15 years – and so having them as pets is a long-term commitment.

Source: http://EzineArticles.com/9197894

How to Buy a Pet Bird: 5 Important Things You Need To Know

Birds make great pets, well they won’t be as loyal a dog, but at least they require less maintenance. Like any other pet, it’s important that you know what kind of bird you want. This should be in correlation with your personality. Like any other animal, birds have personalities. Some birds are more sociable than the others while some are more inclined to be hyperactive than most. In any case, birds should be treated with the utmost care. Ignoring them will aggravate them because just like any other living being, they need attention and care. Besides if you are not willing to take care of them they why take them in the first place?

Things you must know before Buying a Pet Bird.

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1. Find the Right Seller.

First, it is recommended that your check your local newspaper first for legitimate ads from professional breeders. Why? Because like anything else, you can only rely on experts for the best kind of breeds. Moreover, they will be able to provide you the best kind of information about your chosen type of feathered friend.

2. Inquire About Health.

These winged animals also usually comes with paper when bought from professionals, were talking about veterinary records here which is very important if you want your bird to live long enough, you may want to know its medical history. The only backlog is that these birds are usually pricey so if you don’t have the budget, then the next stop is the neighborhood pet shop. This is tricky because some pet shops don’t have in-house vets and only have ignorant salesmen to man the place. Therefore, if this is your only choice then I suggest you do prior research to the kind of breed you want, just so that you know what it should look like healthy.

3. Psychological Test.

Check for the coat and the beaks if it’s on the right shape. Coats should be shiny and full while beaks should look sturdy. It will also help if you could observe the bird for a while before you commit to buying it so that you can have an idea if it’s psychologically healthy; the last thing you want is to have a bird with a defective instinctive behavior which will prevent it from responding positively in your care.

4. Learn its Past Life.

Check if the bird is properly cared for; see the cage if it’s in good condition and if there is adequate food and water. This is to prevent you from buying a traumatized bird. If you just want to buy a bird from a friend, it is still necessary to check all these stuff, after all, a pet is a responsibility, you’ll be spending a lot of time with it so it’s best not to jump the cage without a thorough thought first.

5. Best of All.

Make sure that the bird you will be buying will have an emotional tie with you, don’t just choose birds because of their aesthetic qualities. Look for qualities that will endear them to you because these are the aspects, which you will be relishing for a long time.

Source: http://EzineArticles.com/9226868

The Considerations of Having a Parrot As a Pet

There are several factors that need to be considered before Purchasing/Adopting a Parrot.

One key factor to remember that parrots unlike dogs and cats and other commonly kept pets is they do come with a good amount of requirements and on occasion including visits to the Avian Vet.

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Which brings up the point in the screening of the previous owners what is the birds overall health?

There are owners sadly that will intentionally/unintentionally sell you a bird that is ill and on top of that if you have other companion parrots in the household can make them ill.

This is why it important that if you are around other birds make sure and clean and sanitize your hands before handling any of your other birds.

Breeders, zoos parks etc. will require, for the most part, this to be done prior to handling or coming into contact with their birds/investments to some.

It would be a great idea to quarantine from the rest of your flock as pointed out in an article by the bird channel “Unfortunately, many bird keepers regard quarantine as a required procedure only for the bigger breeders or those who import or export birds. Some consider quarantine a nuisance, and others shortcut the procedure to hurry things along. However, quarantine restrictions are in place to protect both the bird owner and their pet birds. Quarantining can literally mean the difference between life and death for your flock”.

When choosing a provider of your bird, for Adoption or Purchasing (these two can be misinterpreted) but with the help of Wikipedia can be easily explained.

By this article definition:

A. Adoption-is the process of taking guardianship of and responsibility for a parrot that a previous owner has abandoned or released to a shelter or rescue organization. Common sources for adoptable pets are animal shelters and rescue groups.

B. Purchasing-This would be from Breeders locally from local hobby breeders to large breeding farms.

The best advice as always is regarding the health of your Parrot is to seek the advice of an Avian Vet.

Time:

In regards to time and the amount required for a parrot is dependent upon the species as well as how many you have in your flock.

With the 4 pet birds that I own and by species here are the time requirements that we have experienced.

Congo African Grey – In comparison requires more companionship time the all the rest put together. This of course could be the spoiling effect as well. The African Grey is always active and always wants to be the center of attention primarily of my attention. He is a “Hold me Baby” and he could and often does perch on my shoulder all day long.Occasionally sleeping as I work on the computer.

Lilac Crown Amazon – Does like some quality time spent with my wife mainly but only for a couple of hours a day combined. He usually likes to pass the day napping and of course eating. Occasionally swinging on his swing and playing on top of his cage.

Pineapple & Fancy Green cheek Conure – These two are characters often prefer playing and sitting on top of cage. They do like to be held but not near as much as the African Grey or the Amazon. They are perfectly happy sitting on the cage snuggling and preening each other.

The above are examples of differences between species and the time requirements daily for having the most important relationship with your companion parrot.

Source: http://EzineArticles.com/9261382

A Feline Soap Opera?

Does living with an Animal Communicator mean everyone gets along?

There’s no question that integrating cats can be very, very challenging. In my last post about Melissa’s integration I thought I had finally turned a corner. Well, maybe that was just another corner in a complex maze.

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In the wild, domestic cats naturally live in multi-generational female family groups, like lions do. But when confined indoors and when the cats are not related to each other, conflict may be difficult to overcome.

In our human families, we bring cats together who have no biological relationship to each other. That can make for great challenges, as it’s not natural for them to live this way.

When Starlight came nearly 5 years ago (That long ago? Really?) and was quickly integrated in about 2 months, I could hardly believe it was that easy.

Of course, there had been lots of preparation done, even before she was born. Furthermore, Starlight has a very sweet disposition. She doesn’t like to challenge anyone about anything. So naturally, the existing hierarchy was never questioned and all was well.

Then came Melissa.

Melissa, by personality and possibly genetics, is a very dominant cat.

She wanted to take over the cattery where she was born.

Then at 6 months of age, she expected to dominate all 3 cats in my family.

Despite all my efforts to dissuade her, Melissa knew exactly what she wanted and wasn’t about to back down.

She refused to listen to anything I had to say (a perpetual teenager?) and still screams at me when I start to tell her something she doesn’t want to hear.

Sometimes I get an image of a child having a tantrum, screaming and putting her paws (fingers) in her ears.

From her very first day here, Melissa never showed the slightest subservience to the top cat, Sakhara, and never intended anything but to rule the household.

I have explained that there are various way to express dominance, and that violence is not always the best way. But of course, with “paws in ears” Melissa hasn’t heard me and completely rejects my requests.

Melissa is now over 2 years old.

Melissa is now the dominant cat.

Her relationships with Violet and Starlight are, overall, well balanced and respectful, most of the time.

However, with Sakhara, the conflict continues unabated.

Sakhara refuses to officially give up her position.

Melissa continues to hit Sakhara at least once a day, and goes out of her way to do so. Even if Sakhara’s sitting in my lap and minding her own business, Melissa will attack. I can see in Melissa’s eyes and body language when she’s getting ready to strike.

Nothing I’ve done to try to stop this has made any difference at all except in the moment. If I hiss at Melissa or admonish her, she backs off and then just waits until I’m not watching.

Because of Sakhara’s age and overall health (around 21 years old), I still run interference. To me, Sakhara is due some deference, as she’s always been kind, caring, and considerate to others.

Sakhara has chosen to sleep in a room by herself with the door closed. This way she doesn’t have to get past Melissa to get to a litter box after I’ve gone to bed. I’m fine with this, but when I open her door in the morning, Melissa charges in right past me at lightning speed.

In my efforts to resolve things between these two, I discovered a past life in which Melissa and Sakhara had a terrible conflict that resulted in horrible torture and death for Melissa. Melissa is unforgiving, and Sakhara won’t even forgive herself.

So the karma continues.

While I haven’t completely given up my efforts to help each of these beautiful beings find inner peace, there’s a powerful lesson for me in all this. While meditating one day, I was told to use this affirmation:

“I accept God’s Perfection in everything.

I let go of having to fix everything.”

Truly a powerful lesson. It’s not up to me to resolve this. It’s up to them.

Source: http://EzineArticles.com/9737481

Want a Talking Bird? Learn Which Birds Love to Talk

Spending a few minutes chatting with a talking bird can brighten your day, and adding a bird to your family will provide a fun opportunity to enjoy the bonds that form when your feathered companion can talk. Many types of birds love to talk and their styles can vary according to their species as well as their temperament. While some birds may be able to memorize a few words, others can carry on full conversations. Here are the top pet bird types that have the ability to learn to talk along with their defining characteristics to help you decide which one will best fit your lifestyle.

Converse With a Conure

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Conures are known for having the smallest vocabulary out of the parrot family. However, what they lack in words, they make up for in personality. Conures have a loud, attention-getting voice, and they sound more like a bird than other species. Although they can reproduce the human voice to some degree, you may also hear them chatter in bird talk while maintaining a human-like rhythm. They also have a surprisingly strong ability to mimic many different kinds of sounds, and your conure can keep you in giggles as they sneeze, chortle and chuckle.

Query a Quaker

Quakers have tons of personality and many bird lovers claim that their quaker can respond as if they understand the entire conversation. Perhaps this is due to their impeccable timing, which indicates that they may have some understanding of the intricacies of human language. For example, you may find your quaker telling you “good night” as you turn off a light, or they may say “thank you” when you give them some food. Quakers are full of surprises and this is one talking bird that can keep the one-liners coming.

Babble with a Budgie

Budgies often get overlooked when it comes to talking birds, but according to the Guinness Book of World records, a budgie has earned the distinction of being “The Most Talking Bird” with a vocabulary of more than 1700 words. If you are considering getting a budgie, then be sure it is a male since females do not talk. Additionally, budgies pick up new words from their environment and are constantly adding to their vocabulary. Try leaving the radio or television on during quiet periods of the day and you will be amazed at how much your budgie can learn to say.

Gab with an African Grey

African greys are quieter than a conure, yet they also have the ability to reproduce different voices depending upon whom they are mimicking. For example, your African grey may sing a song in the voice of your favorite musical artist, or they could squawk “hello” in your kid’s voice so well that you think they are in the room. As you teach your grey to talk, keep in mind that they learn words faster when emotions are attached to them. So, get excited when you tell them hello or call them a pretty bird.

Talking birds are a great addition to any home, and you can spend hours training your bird to communicate effectively. Whether you prefer a chatterbox or an occasional bit of birdie wisdom, there is a type of talking bird that will fit your preferences. Just remember that talking to your bird frequently is the best way to expand their vocabulary which means that you can get started from the moment you bring your new bird home.

Source: http://EzineArticles.com/9318908