All About Parrots III
All About Parrots III
2. Parrots have very loud voices. Different sounds mean different things (like “watch out for the hawk”, or “there’s food over here”). Parrots learn to make these calls by listening to their parents and flock mates. As pets, some can learn to talk by listening to us. Parrots also use body language (like fluffing their feathers) to communicate.
3. Some scientists think parrots are at least as smart as dolphins and chimpanzees. For example, Alex the African Grey parrot knew how to count to 6, identify 7 colours and name 35 different objects. Alex was even learning to read! He was trained by Dr. Pepperberg, who is now training two more parrots just like him!
4. The only parrot native to North America, the Carolina Parakeet, was hunted to extinction in the United States early in the 20th century.
5. Parrots are not domesticated animals like cats,dogs and chickens, but are only one or two
generations out of the wild. ALL parrots will bite, if given the right combination of circumstances.
6. Parrots are known to be extremely intelligent, having an intellectual capacity approaching that of a 3-5 year old child. They typically have the emotional maturity of a 2 year old. Almost all parrots are capable of human speech, but the best “talkers” are African Greys, Amazons and Eclectus. The world record for most words and phrases was held for a while by a parakeet in the UK.
7. Parrots come in all colors of the rainbow, and most species are sexually monomorphic in coloration, i.e. you can’t tell the girls from the boys.
8. Mynah birds, while a somewhat unusual pet bird, are known to be excellent mimics and talkers. Crows, ravens and other members of the corvid family are very good mimics, although they do not mimic human speech as well as a parrot can. Their voices are gravelly and not as clear.
9. Perhaps one of the most impressive mimics is the Australian lyrebird. Not only can it mimic the sound of human speech, butit can make incredibly complex sounds, such as that of a chainsaw in use. So, although parrots are the best-known of the avian chatterboxes, they certainly are not the only ones capable of mimicking speech.
10. The striking Orange-bellied Parrot is a little larger than a budgerigar and is identifiable by its vibrant orange patch on its lower belly. Its plumage is a bright grass-green colour on top and mostly yellow below, and it has a bright blue patch on the outer wing and a blue bar above its nostrils.