Birds Speak, Individuals Squawk
Written by John Kessler
That is BirdNote! [Audio of goose-caller]
That is the decision of a goose…or is it? Really, it’s Darvin Gebhart, demonstrating his championship goose-calling approach. [More calls]
However there are additionally birds that use human language. Speaking birds have various levels of intelligence and talking potential. Some, just like the crow, are capable of mimic only some phrases and phrases, whereas some budgerigars—parakeets on this aspect of the pond—have a vocabulary of over a thousand phrases.
Sparkie Williams was a well-known budgie that lived in England within the Fifties. For six years, he labored as a personality actor on British radio, and retired a rich chicken. [Audio of Sparkie]
Alex, the African Gray Parrot, was one other notable speaking chicken. Alex had a restricted vocabulary – about 150 phrases – however he was well-known for his cognitive talents. He might acknowledge colours and shapes, and likewise used the phrase “none” to explain the absence of amount. In different phrases, [slowly] he grasped the idea of zero. [Audio of Alex and researcher, Dr. Irene Pepperberg]
Scientists proceed to debate whether or not every other species can really study human language. However birds like Sparkie and Alex might actually maintain up their aspect of the dialog! For BirdNote, I’m Mary McCann.
Audio of “Sparkie Williams the Budgerigar” from British Library Sound Archive
Audio of Darvin Gebhart, Champion Goose Caller, from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h0qGKTED_Pg
Audio of Alex the African Gray Parrot from “Alex the Parrot, an Apt Pupil, Passes Away,” All Issues Thought-about: Nationwide Public Radio, aired on September 10, 2007 (archived on-line)
BirdNote’s theme music was composed and performed by Nancy Rumbel and produced by John Kessler.
Producer: John Kessler
Government Producer: Chris Peterson
© 2015 Tune In to Nature.org March 2018/2022 Narrator: Mary McCann
ID# birdtalk-01-2008-03-14 birdtalk-01b