Crows are members of the Corvidae family comprising ravens, jays, and magpies. It was not until the 21st century that scientists were able to prove just how intelligent crows are. We have always known parrots to talk, but now so can crows.
Can crows be trained like parrots? Yes, crows can be trained like parrots. You can teach a crow how to say words and even whole sentences. Crows have a very high IQ and grasp language much faster than parrots. Teaching crows is not as common as teaching parrots, mainly because crows are not kept as pets.
Even without training, crows will mimic human speech from observation and repetition. This article will examine whether crows can be trained like parrots, how a crow talks, how to train a crow and why it is possible to train.
Can Crows Be Trained Like Parrots?
Yes, crows can be trained like parrots. Crows are pretty intelligent and can be taught how to talk or do tricks. Captive crows are easier to train because the teaching process requires repetition and patience.
However, crows cannot mimic words as fluently as parrots. Why? Parrots use their tongues to speak clearly and fluently, while crows use their syrinx. A syrinx is a bird’s voice organ. Also, most crows are not tame, so their interaction with humans is limited, unlike parrots.
Crows have impeccable memory and can mimic exactly what they have been taught with the same accent and intonation. Remember, crows do not communicate the same way we do. Instead, they mimic words and sounds such as car alarms, sirens, and even other animal sounds like dog barks.
However, with plenty of training, you can teach the crow to understand the meaning of certain words. It may be uncommon to encounter a talking crow, but this is because crows are usually kept as pets.
They also may not be comfortable talking in front of humans, but with training, they get used to talking even when strangers are around.
How Does A Crow Talk?
Crows use their syrinx to mimic sounds and words. A syrinx is located at the far end of a crow’s trachea and consists of vibrating membranes, muscles, and cartilage.
Birds do not have vocal cords, so they use their syrinx to produce sounds. A crow has two syrinxes, making it easier to mimic human language. Both crows and parrots can manipulate their syrinxes to create sounds and shape the sounds using their beaks.
Unlike parrots, crows do not use their tongues to talk. Due to this reason, parrots tend to speak more fluently and more evident than crows and can even talk to human beings.
Also read: What Animals Eat Crows?
How To Train A Crow To Talk?
It is easier to train a crow when it’s in captivity and preferably when it is still relatively young. As I previously stated, training requires patience and repetition.
Also, wild crows are trainable. For example, if crows keep coming near your house, you could build a relationship with them, and eventually, you will hear them mimic a word or two that you usually use.
Crows are prideful and will only respond to you at their own time and pace. Also, the myth that you have to cut a crow’s tongue for it to talk is not valid. Here is how to train a crow.
Start with basic words
It is best to start with simple words like greetings such as hello or good morning and good night. When training your pet crow, you can also help it to understand when to say these specific words.
For example, train it to say good morning when it’s morning. Crows are very intelligent, and unlike other birds, they have the cognitive ability to say words and understand their meanings.
Train a young crow
If you have no experience with crows, it is best to start with a young crow. Adult crows are tricky to train and require much effort and time. Young crows will bond with you; therefore, as they grow, they will be easier to train.
Have a joyful attitude when teaching
A positive attitude helps the crow to be more open to the training. The more you keep saying words cheerfully, the faster the crow will pick up the words and start mimicking them.
When a crow successfully says a word correctly, give it a treat such as a piece of meat or fruit. Rewards will motivate the crow to learn more words that will expand its vocabulary.
Bond with the crow
Building a good relationship with the crow enables it to trust you, and this way, it becomes easier to teach it. If the crow is captive, ensure you feed it and spend time with it. In due time, it will be entirely comfortable around you.
Establish a daily schedule to teach the crow. The crow will be very enthusiastic and look forward to receiving a treat if it says a word correctly. You can teach the crow how to talk, how to count, and even how to match shapes and colors.
Why Is It Possible To Train A Crow To Talk?
Crows are one of the most intelligent birds. They have recently been termed the “feathered apes.” Why? Because crows can think and solve complex problems and even make tools.
It is possible to train a crow because of;
- Its high intelligence; crows have a pallium instead of a cerebral cortex where thinking occurs. It comprises 1.5 billion neurons, the same as neurons found in a primate. Therefore, they can grasp and learn things very fast.
- It has excellent memory; apart from parrots and parakeets, crows also have an impeccable memory, which serves them to remember words they have heard before. So when training the crow, it can remember a very extensive vocabulary.
- Presence of two syrinxes; syrinxes enable them to mimic sounds they hear,e.g., car alarms, words, or even complete sentences. With enough training, the crow can memorize up to 100 words.
Video Of A Crow Talking
Here is a video showing a crow mimicking what its owner is saying.
Can Crows Communicate With Humans?
No, crows cannot communicate with humans. Crows can imitate human speech but cannot converse with humans. We interpret crows’ mimic sounds as communication because they sound identical to how we talk.
Wild crows can only mimic a few words, but a trained crow can imitate more than 50 words. Although crows cannot communicate with words if they are well trained, they can communicate by pointing to certain things.
Here are other frequently asked questions.
Yes, crows are more intelligent than parrots. Although parrots can talk more fluently than crows, crows have higher IQs and can be taught how to count and identify different colors and shapes.
Crows can also recognize people’s faces and use gestures to communicate. New Caledonian crows can make and use tools. Research shows that crows are as smart as seven-year-olds.
No, not all crows can speak. Only trained crows can speak. Wild crows, which have no contact with humans, will rarely talk. Even captive crows cannot speak because the owner did not train them to speak.
Yes, crows can speak better than parrots. A crow with adequate training will talk well but not as fluently as a parrot. Also, not all parrots can talk well, but those trained speak fluently. An American crow can speak up to 100 words, whereas an African Grey parrot can speak up to 300 words.
Can crows be trained like parrots? Yes, they can. Crows can mimic words and sounds. Trained crows can memorize up to 100 words. To train a crow, be patient and teach it from a younger age. It is uncommon to encounter a talking crow because most crows are not kept as pets.
Crows use their syrinxes to produce sounds, and they can mimic exactly what they hear, including the tone and the accent. With patience and repetition, the crow will eventually speak.