Myth: Freeflighted Birds Don't Talk

Photo by Dave Location: Orlando, FL Cockatoos: Galahs "Bondi" and "Bandit"

A huge discouragement to letting a bird be a bird and use its natural ability to fly... is this myth that flighted birds don't talk. This is completely false! 

I know, because I have both types of birds; the one who never flew outside before (Bondi, my galah) and one who I flew outside from the very beginning (Bandit, the other galah). And guess what? Both talk!

And I don't mean talk as in... Bandit just mimics Bondi. I mean currently he learned how to say the following phrases all on his own and my other birds don't say them!

  • What are you doing?
  • Bandit Boy
  • Baby Bandit
  • I love you (in my voice and not my mom's like Bondi says)

He's not quite a year old yet and already says Bondi's entire vocabulary plus some of his own and he isn't stopping there! He's picking up words really fast and is one of the most vocal birds I've ever had.

More of Bandit talking:

Cressi, my freeflighted Congo African Grey, learned how to first mimic, "Waaaahhhooooo hoooo hooo hooo!"

This is something I always said when I took her outside flying, you will hear it on almost every video I flew her in: Videos. She also learned whistling first (the wolf whistle and dog whistle) and then "celebration" noises like the wahoo-ing and other fun noises we make in celebration of having fun. But then her first REAL phrase was "Hey Cressi!" and it happened a few months after her 1st birthday (Halloween is her birthday and it happened at the beginning of December).

Cressi was freeflighed from a baby as well.

So don't listen to people who tell you if your bird flies it won't talk - it's not true and I have a flock of freeflighted birds to prove it! Macaws, cockatoos, African Greys and even parakeets

Birds can fly AND talk, even if flying comes first and talking comes second.

Article by Jamieleigh Womach. She has been working with parrots and toucans since the age of 17. She isn’t homeless but is home less than she prefers to be. She travels the world with her husband, daughter, and a flockful of parrots whom she shares the stage with.

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