Why do parrots enjoy mimicking?

Red beak parrot hidding in the trees' leaves
Read in 5 minutes


Mimicking is part of a bird’s learning repertoire that because they are so smart they can’t help but avoid (this learning process).


The original question makes the assumption that a bird is mimicking a human. Is it because the bird repeats the word or the phrase a number of times?


When a musician “practices” they play the same music over and over to improve their performance because they learn it better.



Perhaps mimicking is a bird’s method of improving its own performance by repetition.


It (the bird) gets better at understanding the relationship between words and objects or concepts – or perhaps not.


Is a budgie in a crowded flock flying over the Australian outback is thinking…………………


“If that kangaroo is heading towards food, we’ll follow him because it’s more efficient than randomly searching for food”.


“I hope everyone in the flock is on the same play page – “chirp – chirp – chirp – squawk –  squawk”.


The closest bird in the flock responds with  – “chirp – chirp – chirp – squawk –  squawk”.


The next closest bird shoust – “chirp – chirp – chirp – squawk –  squawk”.


Are they mimicking – or are they communicating?


I suppose if we created a database with all the mimicry thousands of birds are performing while at the same time recording their actions, we somehow could learn how to associate their vocabulary with their body movements to better understand what they are really saying.


Birds have been around for 99 million years. If we follow through on my AI concept we may find that they’re actually speaking a language too complex for humans to comprehend.


Humans can’t leave the house without clothing from neck to foot, satchels with everything from sealed vessels of liquids, clothing changes, electronics and snack bars should Armageddon befall them before  getting to work.


For 99 million years birds of gotten by with nothing more than their feathers beak and feet.


If you want to believe that birds do nothing more than simply repeat random phrases, take a look at this video of Disco a budgie (recently passed) that truly “has a sense of his own identity”.

written by mitch rezman
approved by catherine tobsing

your zygodactyl footnote



He's handled a 1000 birds of numerous species when they would visit their monthly birdie brunch in the old Portage Park (Chicago, IL) facility. The one with the parrot playground. Mitch has written and published more than 1100 articles on captive bird care. He's met with the majority of  CEO's and business owners for most brands in the pet bird space and does so on a regular basis. He also constantly interacts with avian veterinarians and influencers globally.