5 reasons why parrots are special
by Bonnie Dater Jay
1. It goes without saying that parrots are extraordinarily beautiful and that beauty attracts us, mesmerizes us and for some, causes us to want to own it for our very own. However, parrots are also many other things as well. Parrots are beautiful and many can take our breath away with that beauty. Their colors vary from the black feathers of the Vasa parrot to the incredible reds and yellows of the large macaws and the hyacinth blue of the largest of all the parrots, the hyacinth macaw. There are the orange conures, the green amazons, the multicolored hawk headed parrot, the lilac of the lilac headed amazon and on and on.
2. Parrots are very intelligent. According to Dr. Irene Pepperberg, a well known researcher in parrot cognition, many parrots have the intelligence of a four year old child. They can count, identify colors, correctly name things and people they know, play games and play tricks (really) think ahead and a myriad of other human-like behaviors that are for the most part astounding. They are birds with small brains that are as yet not fully understood yet they behave in so many human ways with full cognition about what they are doing. Parrot brains developed much like human brains and that similarity may well have something to do with their amazing cognitive abilities.
3. Parrots can speak our language, but we cannot speak theirs. Alex, Dr. Pepperberg's most amazing and verbose student learned English. He was able to ask for what he wanted, be it food or to go back to his room. He once asked Irene for a nut and she, being busy at the computer asked him to wait for a bit. He asked again. She was still busy working, so after a while he said "Want NN UH TUH... He had thought about her not responding and determined that the best way to handle his request, since she was not providing the desired nut, was to spell it phonetically for her. Yes, they are incredibly intelligent, are able to make informed decisions and act on them. Alex was the most important parrot to have ever lived
4. Parrots can be affectionate. Some more than others. Cockatoos are known for their 'cuddle factor' and are sometimes laughingly referred to as 'velcro birds' always wanting to be on a person, especially THEIR person.
5. Parrots recognize facial expressions. Scowl at one and they know you're 'making a face' and may well pull back. They know when all is right and when something is wrong. They are amazing beings who fill our lives with love, companionship, laughter and so much more. I have had parrots for as long as I can remember... I am considered the top parrot photographer in the world and am the inventor of the StarBird Get a Grip climbing net, said to be the most important enrichment ever designed for birds. I have written for the original Bird Talk, Parrots, Bird Breeder, Birds USA and several other parrot magazines and books. My life is devoted to the best possible care and enrichment of all parrot lives.I have a full line of paprrot toys on my web site. http://www.estarbird.com http://www.estarbird.com/Parrot-Toys_c_28.html