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Teaching Your Bird to Talk


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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments. Foreword. 1. Keeping a Talking Bird. If You Have a Bird If You Don't Have a Bird. Bird Care. Providing Toys. Home Alone. Veterinary Care. Safety Issues. Other Pets. Points to Remember. 2. A Survey of Talking Bird Owners. Birds Take the Initiative. A Little Birdie Told Me (In Her Own Voice!). Clarity of Speech. Talking Parrots Express Themselves. Parrots Are Performers. There's No Guarantee. Fids Say the Darnedest Things! Part of the Flock. Who's Training Whom? Your Turn. Thank You! Points to Remember. 3. People and Parrots. Birds Have Been Talking for Centuries. All the Rage. Parrots in the United States. Interspecies Communication. The Most Talking Bird in the World. Points to Remember. 4. Where Sound Comes From . The Avian Lung. The Syrinx. Hearing. The Brain. Why Birds Make Sounds. Mimicry. Points to Remember. 5. The Call of the Wild. Vocalizations of Wild Parrots. Bird Calls. Fitting Into the Flock. Practice Makes Perfect. Regional Differences. Wild Bird Mimics. Making Beautiful Music Together. Points to Remember 6. Who Talks and Who Doesn't? The Best Talking Birds. Species That Don't Talk. Talking Birds Who Are Not Parrots. Footedness. Age. To Mimic or Not to Mimic. She Won't Talk. She Won't Stop Talking. Assess Your Goals. Points to Remember. 7. Pretty Polly Parrots Perfectly. It's Only Natural. Imitation. The Good and the Bad. Simon Says. Associating Words With Actions or Objects. Talk the Talk and Walk the Walk. Food. Things. People. Pets. Home Schooling Is in Vogue for Parrots. Good Bird! Points to Remember. 8. Before You Start Talking Lessons. Trick Training. Location, Location, Location. The Stand. Rewards. The Bridge. The Cue for Talking on Cue. Training Sessions. The Pet Bird. The Pet Human. Points to Remember. 9. Parrots Jump Into the Conversation. Never a Dull Moment! Living With Talking Parrots. Greys Keep the Conversation Moving. Coming and Going. The Dynamics in Multi-Bird Households. Minding Their P's and Q's. It's a Bird's Life. It's Only Natural. Points to Remember. 10. The Model/Rival Training Technique. First, You'll Need a Bird. You've Got to Have Friends. A Place to Work. Toys! Dr. Pepperberg's Model/Rival Method. Correcting Poor Behaviors. Role Reversal. Practice. How Are You Doing? Points to Remember. 11. Advanced Concepts. The Benefit of "No". Parrot Priorities. Toys and Their Properties. Stuff He Gets on His Own. Sounds That Don't Seem to Mean Anything. Easy Increases in Vocabulary. Testing. Points to Remember. 12. Communicating and Playing With Your Bird. Communication Makes Life Easier. The Importance of Parrot Play. Points to Remember. 13. Problem Solving for Vocal Birds. Talking Parrot Problems. Praise the Parrot. Presto Chango. The Big Cover-Up. Driven to Distraction. The Decibel Level Is a Factor. Answer Your Parrot. Attitude Is Everything. Why Can't We All Just Get Along? Points to Remember 14. Parrots Who Don't Talk. Covering the Basics. Making a Parrot Feel at Home. Rain, Rain, Come Again. Let the Sun Shine In. R&R. Parrots Are Social Butterflies. Where Is Your Parrot in the Pecking Order? I Wanna. It Might Take Sherlock Holmes. The Competition. Sing Along. Consult With a Professional. Compare Notes. Continuing Education. A True Story. Points to Remember. 15. Starlings, Mynahs and Other Birds. Historic Starlings. Starling Care. Mynah the Mimic. Crows Do More Than Caw. Cravin' a Raven? Points to Remember. 16. Going to the Birds. It's Showtime! Bird Business. Learn From the Experts. Making a Contribution. Points to Remember. 17. The Future. Ecological and Evolutionary Implications. The Human-Animal Bond. Breeding for Talking. The Bird Support System. The Human Support System. Human Responsibility. Points to Remember. Appendix A: A Glossary of Bird Words. Appendix B: These Resources Are for the Birds. Appendix C: Words and Phrases Birds Say. Appendix D: Flocks of Bird Lovers: National and International Societies. About the Authors. Index.

About the Author

DIANE GRINDOL has written a column for Bird Talk magazine since 1995 and has put on educational seminars for pet bird owners since 1996. She lectures regularly at seminars and bird clubs throughout the United States. She is the author of The Complete Book of Cockatiels, The Canary: An Owner's Guide to a Happy Healthy Pet, and Cockatiels For Dummies, all from Wiley. TOM ROUDYBUSH, M.S., is the president of Roudybush Inc., a bird feed company. He conducted pioneering research on the nutrient requirements of psittacine birds as a student and employee of the Avian Sciences Department at University of California-Davis. He lectures on avian nutrition to both veterinary and pet-owning audiences throughout the world.


"... represents the compilation of a vast quantity of background information. The authors clearly have considerable experience in the field of aviculture." (Cage & Aviary Birds, 13th March 2004)

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