Talking is an issue that's recently come up on a couple of parrot lists that I'm on, prompting me to think about the talking (or lack thereof) that takes place in my house. We've never placed an emphasis on talking in our house -- no lessons, CDs, etc., figuring that whatever they pick up, they pick up.
Although Max has said other words and phrases (including many that we've only heard once), the majority of her frequent talking has to do with ordering us around: come here, up, want some, gimme a kiss. That last one is her favorite. She is constantly talking about kissing, asking for kisses, making kissing sounds.
A few mornings ago, I was pouring myself a glass of orange juice. As Max says almost any time food is involved, "want some!" Then she flew to the counter, grabbed the cover to the orange juice container, and started drinking the drops that had stuck to the lid. Even though she knows she always gets a few sips from my glass, she could not wait.
Our rescue birds (everyone but Max) came to us eating only seed. We had to introduce the bigger ones to pellets and everyone to fresh food. Rocky was particularly resistant to eating fresh food. The way we converted him was by taking a wide variety of different fresh vegetables and grinding them in the food processor so they were small pieces. Then, we put a layer of minced vegetables over his evening dish of seed. In order to get to his seed, he had to forage through the vegetables. Pretty soon, after accidentally eating some vegetables, he realized that they tasted good! This is one way that they get vegetables from us. It's really easy to prepare about a month's worth at a time and freeze the containers in portions that last us about 3 days.
Here Rocky is, after dinner one night. He walked into the kitchen from his cage in the living room without cleaning off his beak. The threatening pose is because I'm taking the picture.
He really wants me out of the house so he can have Thomas to himself. Sorry, Rock, I'm staying!