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In issue 301 -
What Does Polly Say? Species Differences In Vocal Learning By Parrots Revealed By Citizen Scientists by GrrlScientist
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10 Things I’ve Learned From My Parrots

Spreads for web Parrots 278 4

By Diana Altman

What have we to learn from parrots? Parrot owners may experience daily epiphanies about life as taught by their birds. If nothing else, these epiphanies can remind us that the other party in any communication may hail from an entirely different species of thought and emotion.

Having parrots can be like having toddlers in the house - toddlers who hail from another galaxy. The relationship is full of promise that must be nurtured and tamed before it can be realised. Dr Spock is not available to translate, and in any case the challenge involves a leap across species.

Recent publications like the 2015 New York Times best-seller The Genius of Birds have raised public consciousness about the scope and depth of avian intelligence. Equally, companion-bird human partners are all over social media with stories of their particular bird’s unique personality and behaviour. The time is ripe for reflecting on the wisdom we gain from our birds. We need to break up the centre stage monopoly of dog and cat owners and their ‘oh so brilliant’ pets.

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