Talking Mynahs

by Kathy Butterfield

Wondering if your mynah will be a talker? how well and when?

If owning a talking mynah is your goal, it is best to purchase a baby at 6 to 8 weeks old to begin bonding, interacting, and speech training. Talking ability is the same in both females and males, one is no better than the other. Start talking to your bird as soon as you bring it home. Because things begin to store in their memory, training should to be done prior to the average age of when a baby mynah can be expected to say its first words. This helps him become a proficient talker. Set aside time for training sessions but with young babies just talking to him and saying hello throughout the day can be enough to store words and phrases in his memory.  Use of fun tones and emphasis helps catch their attention.   Whether in or out of the cage, a mynah listens.

Java Hill mynahs and Greater Indian Hill mynahs are very good talkers.  There are other mynahs that talk also; not as well as Hill mynahs, but regardless are very entertaining.  The Common mynah 
Acridotheres tristis, which is abundant in the wild in Australia and Hawaii and many other countries have made a bad reputation for themselves in some places as a very pesky and unwanted bird, but they have been found to be good pet birds and entertaining with their talking ability and funny personality.  I am sure there are more mynah species with talking ability but I am not aware of which other ones are. 

Some starlings can even mimic words. The European starling is known to be an entertaining and good pet bird if raised from a baby.  They have talking ability too.  I am not telling you to go out and raid a nest of its babies.  I am just saying that there are rescued baby mynahs and starlings that when found fallen from a nest and that had to be hand raised, that they have made good pets and learn to mimic words and phrases. 

It's known that some mynahs have began trying to mimic words 2 to 3 months old. Don't be discouraged if your bird doesn't begin to talk by 4 months old.  I can't stress enough how important it is to start training your bird as soon as you get it.  "Hello" is the first thing a mynah will learn easily.  When trying to talk at first, the voice is usually raspy and you may only hear part of the word
.  The more the bird talks, the more complete and clear the words become.

Your mynah nay not learn everything what you want him to.  Mynahs are very intelligent birds with personality plus!  They only mimic what appeals to them.  Things that are heard with expression can be appealing - so watch what you say!  You don't want to be embarrassed by what your bird says.

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