Can Parrot’s Understand, Really?

Written By: B.D. Butler - Aug• 14•11

Ah… I have been asked this question over and over, when describing all the whacky things that my parrots do.

I got my picture of Alex here:

Scientist have been at odds for decades about whether parrots indeed do have cognitive thinking abilities, or they are just prompted for the correct response.  I have personally seen some interesting behaviors and some phrase formulations with my own grey’s, and I have my own opinion that they do.  I have also seen Alex work with the world famous Dr. Irene Pepperberg in video’s and documentary’s and see a parrot be able to distinguish between plastic, metal, color, shape and size.  This to me, is a lot more than some circus training show.

Let’s talk about Dexter and Cooper, and what I have witnessed for myself. At a certain time of the night I have always said “are you ready to go to bed”, and this is usually before I cover them for the night. After a year or so, around the same time at night, I will hear “are you ready to go to bed”. I had to laugh and thought “how cute”. Then I really started to pay attention to what they were saying, and just what time. It is also becoming a trademark to hear it in the daytime, before their usual nap time. You see after their morning pig out session, they like to do their average chewing routine, and crawl around their cages. Pretending to rule the African Congo is what I like to refer to it as. As soon as they have gone on their safari and worn themselves out… wham it’s nap time. So the question remains, are they saying “are you ready to go to bed” because it is bed time, or is it just a random something they have learned and are just “repeating” as many scientist have commented. Essentially, I guess you will have to be the judge.

There are always those people out there that have to doubt everything. I mean come on, wasn’t the world once flat? Wasn’t there no electricity or light bulb or plane for that matter? So why couldn’t the intelligence of a parrot, be higher than assumed? Why couldn’t they understand new languages, and meaning of words? It’s not like there is a Rosetta Stone out there for birds.

Please Donate to the Alex Foundation, even if it is just a couple dollars a month, or twenty dollars a year.

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