Do parrots know what they’re saying or are they just repeating sounds?

2 green budgies talking on a perch
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Here’s a Raven, talking



When the Raven goes off script it appears to be intentional and perhaps the bird is actually translating words a girl assaying into a language that he would prefer to speak – how do we know that’s not the case?

I’ve saved the best to last. Disco the budgie recently passed away but I got a huge video legacy with this being one of my favorites.

Talking is a way to express wild behavior in the content of his home.



Disco had a sense (or seemed to) of his own identity and in the wild birds will name their babies that they can recognize by their unique sound.

In conclusion if you’re making the assumption that the sounds coming from your birds are simply senseless repetitive sound, could it be that you are once again greatly under estimating their intelligence and ability to communicate?

written by mitch rezman
approved by catherine tobsing

your zygodactyl footnote


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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.