Wed 21 May, 2008 11:05 pm
With my being a natural-born cynic, I've my doubts whether this is totally true (from the source..not you Osso), but 'ya know what? I don't care how true it is. I love this story just because it could be true, knowing a little about African Grey parrots. They're far smarter than most people know. I just checked the reliability of this story and SNOPES.com has it listed as a NEW story, but has not debunked it as urban myth.
My g/f had an African Grey, and she told me that it said phrases and made responses that no one TAUGHT them. As an example, her family used to play ping-pong with the bird in the room. The bird used to cheer them on with "Good point" and "too bad" in the correct spots, and even once cried "Ow!" when it was hit by a stray ball - none of which were phrases taught to this bird.
How in God's name this bird knew that this was a competition that required such commentary of that sort is beyond me. It was not "parroting" anything that it had observed before.
from the BBC - not that I can tell what the bird is saying...
There have been recent articles (somewhere) about Alex, the African Grey, a much loved and studied bird.
Tokyo police has confirmed the parrot story; here's the report from Japanese AP:
He kept mum with the cops, but began chatting after a few days with the vet.
"I'm Mr. Yosuke Nakamura," the bird told the veterinarian, according to Uemura. The parrot also provided his full home address, down to the street number, and even entertained the hospital staff by singing songs.
But Yosuke apparently wasn't keen on opening up to police officials.
An interesting New Yorker article on Alex, the african grey parrot I mentioned above.
osso: that's the article I was thinking of, thanks. I knew there was more to this but I had forgotten about Alex and those PBS specials.
Looking around the New Yorker link I found this >
> funny enough on its own, but sad in the sense that ratties, too, are intelligent....