Years ago my sister in law and I wondered if an African grey could be taught to whisper— they were good at picking up noises and words and bird sounds could they whisper. We started talking very quietly to our greys in the hope that they would eventually whisper back to us.
I had very little success at this task so eventually abandoned the exercise.
At home though my husband’s African grey started talking to us very quietly from under his night cover…We called it “fishing”. He was throwing out words to see if we were in the same room as him.We always let him carry on for a while before we answered back because it sounded so lovely listening to him talk quietly.
And behold a month later Sam started muttering under his breath,– whispering! At last, but it was not due to any encouragement from my husband and I. As I sat on the verandah one morning I heard my gardener so softly talking to him, and for a few days I just listened. Before long Sam was truly whispering, we cant make out the words he is saying but it is the nicest thing to listen to. He generally does it in the morning when the gardener is on the verandah but occasionally Duncan and I are treated to his whispering words.
Having just had my mum here to recover from a stay in hospital — she started whistling nursery rhymes to him and he picked it up very quickly.
So I have come to realize that greys learn different sounds and tones from different people. The gardener’s tones were low in nature, my mum’s whistle was quite a high pitched whistle. Duncan and I talk in different tones to him but he prefers picking up my words.
So get as many people to talk to your grey as you can.Listen carefully and see what happens. Wild bird songs are picked up quite quickly and human speech in the right tones can encourage your grey to do amazing things for you.
Remember to be consistent, and patient and you will be rewarded.
I hope that you have fun teaching your bird to whisper — it really does sound so cute ! and you will spend a e great deal of time trying to work out the words.
Tell me if you have a whispering grey, or a grey that picks up different words from different people with different tones..
Greys are such clever birds. We should be teaching them and encouraging them so they reach their full potential…