Birds 101: Simple Conversation

I would like to share a video which in my opinion, is highly under-rated.

The video is of an Amazon Mealy Parrot, which is one of the most talkative birds. The video in and of itself, is quite simple. It is 26 seconds long and comprised of nothing but back and forth communication between the bird and it’s owner. On the surface, this video seems, nothing out of the ordinary however;

That is exactly what makes it such a fantastic video! The back and forth dialog between bird and owner, is something that can’t be overlooked so easily. It shows a high level of intelligence on behalf of the bird, to knowingly “call out” to his “fellow” bird, and continue to use a specific set of  vocalizations to ensure his friend is still within his range and able to find him (the bird) if the owner needs to.

This is the basic form of vocalization for a bird in the wild or as a house pet. This 26 second interaction, displays a great deal of information on the foundation of bird calls, their purpose, and types of calls. This is, in its essence, what all birds do, and also why they do it.

The bond between this Amazon and his owner, as well, provides a tug on the heart-strings, as the owner assuredly addresses the bird as “Mijo,” which means “Son” in Spanish. Denoting that not only is the bird well-loved, he has literally become a part of the family. Which adds heavy weight to the idea that birds are just as much of a beloved house pet, as a dog or cat would be.

Mijo, also proves how birds pick up the tones, words, and sounds that are spoken around them. Science has also shown that birds have a specific set of calls, (which for a human would be equal to saying their “name,”) to call for a particular bird. When Mijo yells for “Papa,” he is not blindly calling out using an ironic sound that we, as human beings know, he is intentionally forming that specific sound to address and look for his “Papa.”

Although not every bird species is as highly vocal and able to form words; even your backyard birds exhibit this basic behavior. Each call has meaning, each ‘tweet’ and ‘caw’ has specific intention behind it. In fact, one of the basics to teaching a bird to talk is that process of mimicking each other. When my mother-in-law’s cockatiel whistles at me- I whistle back! We go back and forth- even changing tunes to a ‘kiss’ sound or whichever, and after about 15 minutes of this back and forth, the bird is ready to learn something new. Recently, it is the Star Wars Theme song.

gray small bird on green leaves
Photo by daniyal ghanavati on

I am a big fan of this video. It warms my heart to watch it and I hope that by sharing this video, that a similar feeling may arise in you as well.

Thank you to the creators of the video, and thank you for sharing.

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