African Grey parrots have the reputation for being the best talking bird. They are able to mimic human speech as well as various sounds (telephones, doorbells, car horns, musical notes, etc). If you are interested in owning an African Grey we recommend you research the breed, as they are very intelligent animals. All Greys need to be entertained and mentally challenged with both toys and human interaction. They make friendly and loving pets, but should have regular training sessions.
Several species of Amazon Parrots including the Yellow-Naped, Double Yellow Head, and Blue Front are also good talkers. Although they generally do not develop as extensive of a vocabulary as the Greys, they can become quite prolific in speech. Given lots of attention, these birds will become excellent pets.
Another excellent talker is the Quaker Parrot. Besides the gift of an excellent vocabulary these green colored birds are very affordable and some can actually begin mimicking speech when they are 2-3 months old. These birds are often purchased as an alternative to the ever-popular Cockatiel.
One final top-talking bird to mention is the Mynah Bird. Mynahs are well known for not only mimicking words but also copying their human’s voice. Although not as intelligent as parrots, Mynahs make good pets and can be tamed and trained with just a little dedication and consistent training. Please keep in mind that for the best pet and talker you must start with a young and preferably captive-bred bird.
No matter which species of bird you choose, remember that only a healthy and happy bird will use his or her ability to copy speech. Make sure you thoroughly understand the housing, feeding and health care needed for your pet, that you keep his environment clean and safe, and offer them lots of attention and praise for good behavior.