To start with teaching a macaw you need to have a strong bond with your bird, try spending some extra time with your pet if that trust is missing. A frightened parrot who does not trust you will stay quiet and far from you. No matter how hard you try they will not repeat your words. A macaw has keen eyesight and observes the environment that it is kept in.
They appear to be happy if kept in a colorful, brightly lit area with sunshine, air and family activities happening around it. If you want your bird to learn you need to be its center of attraction. A learning macaw will listen and look at you closely when you speak to it. It will constantly dilate its pupils while trying to grasp what you say. Sound the word in a loud and clear voice, hesitating slightly between repetitions.
Macaws are extremely social and loneliness and boredom is not easily accepted by them. If you find a flock of macaws in the wild, the easiest way to spot them is through the loud screeching and squawking sounds they make. So when we bring them home, we can hardly change what is inherent of their nature. They enjoy communicating with others so at your home it begins to do what it would have naturally done in the wild – learn the different communication calls of its flock.
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Choose a macaw with the right temperament and your work will be half done. A fearful or a shy macaw may not be very open to training. The same goes for aggressive macaws as well. While there is no doubt that these macaws retain their talking abilities as well, training them can be a daunting task.
How Much Can Macaws Learn?
Although, macaws are magnificent feathered creatures and largest of all in the parrot species with rough voices; they might not be good at talking but they love to socialize. This interaction should be used as a key to train them, some of the macaws start mimicking their keeper’s voice; here’s your chance, sound new words to it and help it add to its vocabulary.
A human being is known to have a vocabulary of more than one million words and therefore its body language is limited. But birds and animals have limited vocabulary and hence ninety percent of their mode of communication is made up of their body behavior and body language. The macaws combine their verbal vocabulary and body language to create their own way of communication. So, if your macaw knows fifty words and fifty different body signals, it will combine them to create several different signals of communication.
Parrots belong to the group of language learning species with an ability to produce similar sounds that are used in human language. Unlike the human body that has a larynx at the top of their trachea for speech; macaws have a syrinx located at the bottom of its trachea in its chest. Sounds produced from both the larynx and syrinx can be customized into recognizable human words when passing through throat, mouth and being manipulated by tongue.
Language experts say that these birds have a relatively longer tongue compared to the other birds which helps them to make human sounds and speak words or sentences. They do differ from humans when it comes to their ability to modulate their hearing and sound abilities, but they can still pick up words better than most other birds. According to playback studies of geographic dialects of wild parrots, these birds strongly react to their local tongue. This might be the reason for macaws to imitate and learn words.
How Can You Teach Your Pet to Talk?
Build an environment before you start teaching you macaw, once you find it relaxed start the lesion. Have short training sessions of 10 to 15 minutes. The bird should be perched on its cage or a stand with your mouth around 12 inches away from it. Begin with small and simple words like hello or good morning! These birds always look for affection and keep themselves close to their human mates; they are very precise in recognizing voices and tend to learn with only one person who they bond with. If you own more than one macaw it is best that you teach one bird at a time, teach them one word or phrase at a time; remember parrot species are not multi-tasking!
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It is common in these pets that they repeat what they hear most but it has been observed that they are attracted to certain words or the rhythm in which a phrase or word is said. This voice modulation of some people enables some macaws to talk better than the others. You should not get irritated if your bird does not repeat what you are saying. It hears everything that you say and suddenly repeat a word that it has heard a couple of days back. The bird finds it easier to grasp repeated words; like “coochie-coochie”.
Rewards are what everyone look forward to including your pets. If you find your macaw making an attempt to repeat a word, go ahead reward it. Parrots love the attention of its owners, eye contact made with them, stroking and scratching it, toys to beak and food treats. They will learn words fast if you offer either of them. Select a treat that your pet loves and keep it only as a reward for the behaviors you want from it.
Macaws are splendid birds to have for pets. These birds need time and attention from its bonded human-mate if you want them to have a good vocabulary. Spend time with them, pamper them, show them your affection and they will behave as you want them to.
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