Do Parrots Have Vocal Cords?

Parrots, along with many other types of birds, can speak and mimic human sounds. However, the mimicking proficiency of certain breeds of parrots like African grey and Amazonian Parrots Are in fact exceptional. This may lead some parrot lovers to believe that parrots actually have vocal cords, just like us humans. But do they?

So, Do Parrots Have Vocal Cords?

And the answer is no. Parrots do not have vocal cords within their systems. Instead, they have a syrinx, just like songbirds and some types of crows. The syrinx makes parrots able to mimic sounds. In fact, syrinx enables parrots to mimic any sound they hear.

And syrinx actually plays an important role in a parrot’s developmental phases, it is as important as brains for us humans.

And for us humans, we have the larynx, which is the most important part of the body to pronounce and speak languages and express our feelings and desires. For parrots and other birds, the syrinx is more about making sounds and songs, which is a part of the way parrots communicate and develop.

And in this article, we will dive into everything related to how parrots can speak and many more.

So, without further ado, let’s get into this…

Do Parrots Have Vocal Cords

What Is The Difference Between syrinx & larynx

In humans, the larynx is an organ that passes through the air in and out of the lungs, and when the voice or words are vocalized, the air will make vibrations to the vocal cords and the voice will come out.

However, in parrots, the syrinx muscle, along with vocalizing, helps the parrots to breathe by controlling the airflow, which is not the case in most mammals. In mammals, the absence of a larynx does not affect the ability breathing, because the chest muscles that are actually responsible for inhaling and exhaling.

So, without the syrinx, parrots can not breathe.

Both syrinx and larynx share the ability to produce voices, and in parrots, the voice is more like a whistle. And if you want to imagine how it is talking to parrots, try to whistle any word, and this will help you understand how the larynx and syrinx work.

Do All Parrots Have Syrinx

Yes, all parrots and most birds have this muscle except vultures. Don’t get this wrong, not all birds can mimic human sounds, even if they have a syrinx within their bodies. And for parrots, the ability to mimic sound is of course not because of the existence of the syrinx itself, but it’s because of the development of it, which is way advanced than other types of birds.

Why Can Parrots Talk While Other Animals Can’t?

And the answer is mainly because of their intelligence. Parrots have well-developed brains that enable them to mimic any sound they hear, and of course because of the syrinx as well.

Along with that, the development of young parrots is actually what makes them vocalize and make sounds, which is one of the most important ways for parrots to communicate with their mates in the wild or even with their owners in captivity. So, when your parrot is making annoying voices, make sure this is because they are communicating with you.

And one of the clearest ways to choose a healthy parrot as a pet is to hear their sounds. Quiet parrots from loud breeds are mostly sick, either physically or mentally.

So, always avoid quiet parrots.

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Can a Parrot Really Talk?

No, parrots can’t really talk to express feelings and desires. Instead, they can mimic the sound usually repeated within their surroundings. And this goes as far as human sounds, like words, crying, or even laughing. However, they can understand commands after a good amount of training depending on the breed.

Can Parrots Understand What They Say?

Mostly no, parrots can not understand what they are saying unless the owner has shown some repetitive reactions, like serving food when the bird pronounces a certain word. The one exception is the African grey Alex, who is proved to have a well-developed sense of self-awareness after asking what was his color.

Why Parrots Can Talk Like Humans?

Parrots Do not talk like humans, they are just mimicking the sounds that we make when pronouncing words. In fact, this is the most used way in parrots to communicate with each other, or with their owners in case of captivity.

Do Parrots Have Syntax?

No, parrots do not have syntax and can not build long and expressive sentences. However, some breeds like the Quaker parrot can notably memorize long sentences and sometimes songs better than any other breed of parrots.


Parrots do not have vocal cords, and they have syrinx instead of that. Which is a muscular organ responsible for inhaling and exhaling the air to and out of the parrot’s lungs. It’s also the part responsible for mimicking and producing sound in parrots, along with the well-developed brain parrots have.

And yes, that’s about it, I hope you found this article informative and easy to digest…