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Secret revealed: how do parrots talk?

Amidst thousands of bird species, parrots are one of the most intelligent creatures ever. They are born with innately attractive communication skills that help distinguish them like no other. 

These birds can even imitate human words and speeches that can be pretty fascinating to understand. One of the most exhilarating parrots to watch is the incredible African Grey Parrot named Einstein. This bird lives in the Knoxville Zoo and can imitate up to 200 human speeches and words. Can you believe that? 

Although several birds on earth can possess such qualities, the way parrots communicate is beyond impressive. Let’s learn a bit more about their awe-inspiring talking skills! 

Einstein – the African Grey Parrot – Image: Knoxville Zoo
Parrots are blessed with a unique brain

Unlike other birds, parrots have a unique brain that enables them to learn songs rapidly. That is possible due to a part of their brain called the “song system.” It is a specific part of the inner core that helps them learn various sounds on an everyday note. 

They also possess an extra part of their song system that is known as the outer shell. Most researchers believe that this part of the brain’s magic enables them to copy sounds instantly. 

So, if you ever hear a bird copy something you say in no time, that may be because of this part of their brain. However, its functions are still unknown to most researchers and scientists trying to unleash information about it. 

What a standout! 

Have you ever wondered why parrots can imitate sounds better than songbirds or hummingbirds? Recent research proves that parrots have distinguished brain structures that enable them to copy sounds far better than other birds. They can even sing better songs than the songbird or hummingbird themselves. With such impeccable skills, they also exhibit impressive vocal learning skills. We have learned about such brain structures above. 

Moreover, the outer shell that parrot brains inherit is far better than the shells other birds have.

This finding opens up a huge avenue of research in parrots, in trying to understand how parrots are processing the information necessary to copy novel sounds and what are the mechanisms that underlie imitation of human speech sounds,” stated Mukta Chakraborty who is a post-doctoral researcher in the lab of Erich Jarvis. 

However, scientists believe that there could be more to the parrot’s magical brains than this. Thus, further studies and researchers regarding the same continue to occur even today. 

A happily socialising specie 

If you have ever had a parrot to pet at home, you will know how they love squeaking out words you say. One of our colleagues has a beautiful parrot named Keeka who loves to imitate her owner. 

So, every time she hosts a party, the bird loves to engage in conversations with us by socializing through sound imitation. So, Keeka tries to imitate almost everything now and then that our colleague has to say. 

All-in-all, parrots love to be recognized even in a group of humans and engage in meaningful interactions. They imitate the sounds of their owner to help them realize that they are now a part of their new family or flock. Such behavior gives them a sense of security, joy, and even comfort altogether. 

Finally, this also happens because parrots are brilliant birds. So, the next time you say something explicitly, remember that your parrot may hear you and squeak it out loud! 

African Grey, Timneh Grey
Some of the best communicating parrot species 

The African Grey, Timneh Grey, and Yellow Naped Amazons are some of the best-speaking parrots worldwide. When they imitate human voices, it won’t fail to amaze you for sure. 

The African greys feature the most extensive vocabulary of words and human speeches possible. They are also the best singers and love to listen to music as well.

So, if you are a music lover, these parrots are going to be your best friends. On the contrary, Macaws and beautiful cockatoos are not the best at talking, but they are exceptionally clever. 

Quakers, Alexandrines and Electus are also good at this. So, you may even consider buying them in need. 

Most wild birds may be different and use sounds, whistles, and squawks to communicate. 

Yellow Naped Amazons

The bottom line 

Apart from their excellent communication skills, parrots are also superb at mating for life. These beautiful creatures may live for as long as sixty years and eat with their feet. 

You will be surprised to know that there are more than 393 parrot species today. All parrots are entirely different from one another and feature beauty like no other.

They are excessively interesting, easy-to-keep and highly amusing. In many cases, they may also act as massive stress busters for you. So, if you have been planning to buy one recently, do not give up on the thought. You’ll be entertained for life!