Who taught him to say 'I'm gonna put my evil inside you'?
April 25, 2012 5:27 PM   Subscribe

My parrot needs some new material.

Obligatory pics here. My Quaker Parrot Calloway is about 6 months old and is an incredible talker. He lives in my studio so we are together most of most days. He hasn't picked up anything from songs or films that might be playing - he only repeats things we say to him. I am blanking out on stuff to teach him to say. So far his repertoire consists of: "Calloway! Step up. Good boy, good baby, good bird! Whatcha doin? Hello! Hi baby! ha ha ha ha ha! tickle tickle? Oh, thank you!" He also makes fart noises and kiss noises. He does a great gravelly 'REDRUM' sort of voice so I'm trying to teach him to actually say that. We're also working on 'knock knock? who's there?' Great Hive Mind, please give me your suggestions.
posted by Lou Stuells to Pets & Animals (26 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Why not some pirate-themed sayings? I'd like to hear a parrot say "Dead men tell no tales!"
posted by jnnla at 5:32 PM on April 25, 2012 [2 favorites]

I taught my African Grey to whistle the "Sailor's Hornpipe". (Calloway is awesome!)
posted by trip and a half at 5:45 PM on April 25, 2012

My friend had a parrot that would stage a coughing fit whenever anyone else coughed or sneezed. It was hilarious. Also "bless you" to sneezes. He could whistle a few tunes too, and if yours isn't picking up music from recorded songs, he might still pick them up if YOU sing or whistle them.

Seconding pirate things. "Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum" could be cute.
posted by lollusc at 5:46 PM on April 25, 2012

Based on his name I have no idea why you haven't already taught him to repeat "Hi de hi de hi de hi" every time you yell that at him
posted by theodolite at 5:46 PM on April 25, 2012 [8 favorites]

Surely "ho de ho de ho de ho" as the response would be nearly thrice as awesome?
posted by howfar at 6:01 PM on April 25, 2012 [4 favorites]

I taught my parakeet to say Here kitty kitty.
posted by The Deej at 6:10 PM on April 25, 2012 [4 favorites]

maybe try to get him to learn the names of things, like repeat "food" when you feed him, or water, or fruit, so if his water dish is empty, instead of just squawking, he can say "water"

my mom had a conure that made a particular sound if he wanted a bit of whatever you were eating or drinking - so maybe "share?" would be another one to say when you are doing so.

he's sooo cute!
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 6:12 PM on April 25, 2012

I met a parrot once that would say "silly human, parrots can't talk."

Nthing pirate talk.
posted by bricksNmortar at 6:13 PM on April 25, 2012 [8 favorites]

Agreed to all the pirate stuff. "Pieces of Eight." "You've got a peg leg." "Land ho!" "Dead men tell no tales."

Some standard bird talk I've heard other birds say: "Pretty bird." "Polly wanna cracker." "Kisses? Kisses? *mwah*

There is the ever popular cuss words. Personally I don't think it's cute.

Corny pick up lines?
"Pizza's here!" when someone knocks or rings the doorbell?
Classic movie lines? "Say hello to my little friend." "I'll be bock." "We're not worthy!" "Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn."
posted by TooFewShoes at 6:14 PM on April 25, 2012 [1 favorite]

Oh gosh I LOVE quaker parrots, and Calloway is so cute.

One of my favorites is "gimme kiss" and then the parrot can snuggle up to your face and make kissing noises/gestures. Sounds like yours already makes kissing sounds - you could try to add some gestures.

A short song is another option. Ours sang 'Take me out to the ballgame.' It's good if it has somewhat of a rhythm... our bird liked to dance while singing it.

If you keep the parrot in your shoulder while typing on the computer, he can learn to make keyboard clicking noises.
posted by aki_norev at 6:16 PM on April 25, 2012

"Calloway is watching you." (As a riff on the classic parrot joke.)
posted by anaelith at 6:19 PM on April 25, 2012

I'd got straight to "Pining for the Fjords!", but I'm weird that way.
posted by Ufez Jones at 6:22 PM on April 25, 2012 [1 favorite]

sigh.... *go
posted by Ufez Jones at 6:22 PM on April 25, 2012

Your bird is adorable!

My husband, daughter and I are on a secret campaign to teach my mom's cockatiel to say "Meow". He mostly picks up on nonverbal things, and he kind of imitates my dad's car horn when he toots for my mom, which is funny.

My mom taught her bird (Cracker) to make this noise that she makes to get attention. My mom will make this particular sound to get my kid, or a peaceful baby, or my sleeping dog, or anything in the room that's alive and absorbed in something else to just look at her, and it drives me crazy. First that she does it, and also that this is an annoyinjg noise I hate - which is a "titch titch titch longkissingnoise noiseagain" and it just kills me that I am going to inherit her damn bird that makes this noise of hers that I cannot stand.

posted by peagood at 6:56 PM on April 25, 2012

Best answer: You have a parrot and you haven't taught it to say "Help, they've turned me into a parrot!" yet? WHY NOT.
posted by sun-el at 7:05 PM on April 25, 2012 [8 favorites]

*also meant to say...the car horn noise sends my mom running to the window to see if my dad's there.
posted by peagood at 7:08 PM on April 25, 2012

My parrot (a Galah/Pink Cockatoo so not great at learning words) learned to laugh, ring like a mobile phone, whisper gibberish, sneeze, smokers cough and bark like a dog and then yell at the dog for barking. My brothers parent would whisper a slightly suicidal "Here Kitty Kitty Kitty.".

Also "Can I have a kiss?" make a kissy noise to get him to kiss you and then say "Thank you."

They can learn to whistle quite long tunes if you start out by teaching them a short refrain and then adding to it a few notes at a time.
posted by wwax at 7:14 PM on April 25, 2012 [2 favorites]

My dentist used to have a bird in her office that would imitate the drill. It was both horrifying and awesome.

If I had a talking bird, I'd probably teach him to say things like "E=MC square" or recite Pi to thirty digits so people would think he was a super genius.

When my son was little I trained him to say things like "Punch it, Chewie" whenever I started the car or "I heard that" whenever someone farted. I'd bet your bird is at least as smart as my son.

How about zombie talk? "Braaaaains" might be kind of fun. Or maybe "Bird Braaaaaaains."
posted by bondcliff at 7:51 PM on April 25, 2012 [3 favorites]

"I just flew in from Chicago, and boy, are my arms tired." (?)
posted by Napoleonic Terrier at 10:21 PM on April 25, 2012 [2 favorites]

I'm with the pirate talk.. "Shiver me timbers", "Ahoy Me Hearties!", "Thar She Blows","Touch me parrot, me bite your carrot". and plenty more piratey goog suggestions here and here
posted by mule at 4:16 AM on April 26, 2012

Whatever you teach him, make sure your smoke detectors have fresh batteries.

Because a parrot, who listens to the smoke detector randomly beep for months as it requests new batteries, will end up making that noise. ;o)
posted by MeiraV at 7:04 AM on April 26, 2012 [1 favorite]

Back in the day a friend of mine had a SubGenius Parakeet Training tape. It was EVIL:

"I understand what I'm saying!"

"I can think! I have a mind!"

"Help me escape!"

"They torture me!"

"Go ahead--kill me."

(If I were in this position I don't think I'd do any of these except possibly the first, but I did feel the need to share.)
posted by dlugoczaj at 7:50 AM on April 26, 2012

Best answer: Remember a tv doc set in Australia where some ad man was talking about a friend who had a parrot.
When you walked in the room, his parrot said, "I can talk! Can you fly ?"
posted by devious truculent and unreliable at 8:49 AM on April 26, 2012 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: So much good stuff here - you'll keep us busy for weeks! Right now we're working on "Pay attention to ME!" because that's what it all boils down to, really.
posted by Lou Stuells at 8:21 AM on April 27, 2012

My supervisor at my last job had a parrot that could sing "Itsy Bitsy Spider." It was hysterical because she'd usually get the words all mixed up.
posted by WorkingMyWayHome at 5:50 PM on April 27, 2012 [1 favorite]

Not particularly hilarious, but after several lost bird posts lately it seems like it might not be a bad idea to teach him his address.
posted by magicbus at 7:15 PM on May 2, 2012 [3 favorites]

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