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    Parrots: All Talk, No Trousers?

    NewsParrot NewsThursday 02 June 2011
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    A study has suggested that parrots may have more reasons for imitating and learning vocalisations than just simple, mindless imitation. Researchers at the University of Georgia have studied hours of video footage of a home raised talking African Grey parrot (named Cosmo). They found that her talking habits and topics of conversation differed widely depending on which people were around her, what they were doing and how far away they were from her. The bird vo­calized al­most twice much when the own­er was in a neigh­bor­ing room than when the own­er was ei­ther out of the house or in the same room, they found. Cosmo was even found to say “where are you” or “I’m here” when her owner was in another room in the house, showing an awareness of spatial location. More­o­ver, “when her own­er was in the room and will­ing to re­cip­ro­cate com­mu­nica­t­ion, the par­rot was more likely to use sounds that, in Eng­lish, would be con­sid­ered so­lic­ita­t­ions for vo­cal in­ter­ac­tion (e.g., ‘Cos­mo wan­na talk’),” according to the researchers.

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