Most people are quick to jump to the African Grey as an answer to that question. While I have to agree, you have to keep in mind that every parrot is an individual. For example, just because Alex the African Grey had a massive vocabulary and every other African Grey you look up on YouTube has a vocabulary of at least a few words does NOT mean the African Grey that you purchase (potentially) will talk.
No parrot is guaranteed to talk. No parrot is guaranteed to do tricks. Deciding to get a parrot as a pet just because you want a pet that talks and does tricks is a bad reason to get one.
Now that I've said that, I want to clarify that I'm NOT trying to assume that this is what you're thinking. It's just something that I have dealt with so many parrots at the shelter where I volunteer that were purchased because the owner wanted a pet that would talk or do tricks, and when the parrot didn't deliver in a timely manner they got rid of him. That's just wrong. So, I've become accustomed to giving this speech because the fewer parrots that have to be re-homed for stupid reasons the better.
From my experience, the parrot species that have exhibited the most "intelligence" are African Greys, Blue and Gold Macaws, Moluccan Cockatoos, and Senegals.
For the most part, the only parrot I would recommend as a first/beginner parrot from that list is the Senegal. No matter what, though, it is always very important to do lots of research on a parrot species of any kind before bringing them home.
That said, best of luck to you!
Midwest Bird and Exotic Animal Hospital
Proud owner of four parrots.
Three years volunteering at an avian shelter.
· 10 years ago