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lady talking to a parakeet

Do Parakeets Recognize Their Owners (Voice and Looks)

Birds can either be socially or sexually monogamous. Socially monogamous birds will choose a mate to raise their young together. They will, however, mate with other birds, so their relationships are not as long-lived as that of the sexually monogamous birds. Social monogamy means that birds like parakeets will mate with a partner for a period and raise offspring with them.

The pair will ensure that their young thrive, taking turns to tend to and to guard the nest. Two beaks are better than one.

Parakeets are a highly intelligent species with established voice recognition ability. They can recognize their owners’ voices when properly domesticated. As pets, they love to spend time with the humans they have bonded to. For this reason, they will not only strive to learn your language but will show a high level of affection when they hear your voice.

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How do they recognize each other?

Parakeets live in large flocks out in the Australian wild. You will find sparse populations of these colorful green birds in other warm regions of the world. The grasslands are their natural habitat.

They will fly in large flocks through the mainland chasing down seasonal water and food sources. They have over time adopted this safety in numbers as a tactic for survival. In a large flock, there is a lesser chance of becoming dinner.

These birds are naturally social and creatures of habit, learning to recognize their mate in the middle of large flocks of look-alike birds. Budgerigars, also known as parakeets, in the US recognize their partners via vocalization as studies show.


They know all the hallmarks of their partner’s particular call. These fantastic little birds will recall their mate’s call despite months of not seeing them at a time.

The male and female budgies have different calls. Two bonded budgies will use these calls to communicate with each other more often. These sounds keep the pair together and maintain their intimate bond.

In the initial stages of their relationship, the male budgie will mimic the female’s call to impress her. The female will choose the male budgie that does the best mimic her call. She, however, does not seem inclined to learn her beau’s signature sound.

When they have bonded, both birds will gravitate to each other naturally because they share a sound. Their calls will lose their uniformity as their chicks mature and by the next breeding season, the female might not recognize the male’s call since it will be not be the same as her own.

Research shows that this familiarity can last up to 180 days and is more hinged on sound rather than the look of a bird.

Can parakeets recognize the voice of their owners?

Parakeets are a highly intelligent species with established voice recognition ability. They can recognize their owners’ voices when properly domesticated.

As pets, they love to spend time with the humans they have bonded to. For this reason, they will not only strive to learn your language but will show a high level of affection when they hear your voice.

These birds can recognize their partner’s sound in the wild after months of absence. Most parakeet owners say that their pets will recognize them after being absent from home for long periods.

There are those that say they have deeply bonded with their birds over years, such that these birds can identify their owner’s voice via a phone’s speakers. They will mimic their owner’s words and make apt responses.

Can parakeets recognize their owner’s looks?

Birds cannot only recognize differences between human voices, but they can recognize familiar faces. Christine Stracey stumbled upon this in 2005, as a student at the University of Florida.

The student would invade bird nests in the Gainesville neighborhood, band chicks, and count eggs for research. Over time, the birds resenting her calls, became aggressive when she paid their homes a visit.

They would swoop towards her and squawk but would ignore any other passerby in the vicinity.

She realized the birds, especially the mockingbird, recognized not only her face but resented it. The mockingbird is not as intelligent as the parakeet.

Therefore, there is truth to parrot pet owners’ claims that their birds treat strangers differently. Some will scold a visitor but light up when their owner is around them.

yuong mocking bird
Young Mocking Bird

Stracey and her colleagues conducted further research and published it. The conclusion was that these birds could spot the difference between unknown visitors to their nests and intruders out of hundreds of faces.

This research suggests that this acute sense of perception is critical for birds that coexist with humans. It helps them in discerning potential threats, ensuring that the flock only squawks at danger so as not to attract predators.

More studies on this subject by the University of Vienna and UK’s University of Lincoln animal behaviorists shows that some birds such as pigeons can accurately choose between unfamiliar and familiar humans.

They have an innate ability that helps them use certain facial features to tell humans apart. The team also concludes that birds use this cognitive process to recognize the people they know, a critical ingredient for survival.

Your parakeet, therefore, can recognize your looks because they need to stay guarded against people that may act inappropriately towards them.

Are they attached to their owners?

Budgie owners that spend quality time with their pets say that these birds become so fond of them, that only they can handle them. To build robust bonds with your colorfully feathered friend give them activities that stimulate their mind.

Offer them toys that intrigue them and talk to them. They will associate the feeling of joy with you and connect with you.

How can you tell that your bird recognizes you?

  • Since parakeets are highly vocal and a tad noisy, they will respond to your speech to show their affection towards you.
  • They will sing along to music and become excited when you talk to them
  • Your bird will climb the bar of their cage to be near to you
  • Your blue or green-feathered bird will be comfortable when perched on your finger or shoulder
  • Given the option of hopping or flying away, your parakeet will perch on you instead
  • Your fantastic little bird will want to cuddle up your neck
  • He or she will sing to you when there are no other birds around


Since parakeets can recognize your face and voice, their strong flock instinct implies that they will bond to you. Build trust with your pet parakeet by giving them high quality care, talking to them softly and adhering by a trust building and mentally stimulating daily schedule of activities.

Hutch and does not provide veterinary advice. Our aim is to provide the reader with information to enable them to make a good decision when making a purchase or caring for their pet. All content is therefore for informational purposes only. If you're concerned about the health of your pet you should seek medical advice from a vet.