In Which Talking Birds Parrot New Content


[Editor’s Note: This article is an unusual addition to the project. It was the result of a promise to produce new content on a deadline, while being away from a computer. The videos are well worth your time, so we’re happy to feature this piece in the archives.]

As the Audubon Society puts it, “of all the creatures on Earth, only two can produce human language: humans and birds!”

I grew up listening to tales of a family parakeet aping my grandfather’s potty mouth: “sheeeeeeeeiiiit!” said the bird! As a child, my family had parakeets that could say the much tamer “pretty bird!”

Mynahs, crows, ravens, and parrots are some of the avian species that are particularly good at sounding like us. But how and why can they mimic our speech?

Enjoy the following videos and articles for some insight into the incredible vocal abilities of birds and a few examples that might tickle your feathers.

Einstein the African Grey Parrot is so astounding she had her own TED Talk!!

And I would be completely derelict in my duties if I did not present to you the greatest bird mimicry ever recorded. If you don’t know the source song, I’ll link it in the Further Reading and Exploration Section below.

And if videos aren’t your thing, check out the articles on bird speech below, too!

Further Reading and Exploration

Why Do Parrots Talk? – Audubon Society

Why do parrots have the ability to mimic? – Scientific American

Hatebeak – A metal band with a parrot singer

Bodies – Drowning Pool

82 Year old Sings “Let the Bodies Hit the Floor”

Pirates of the Caribbean (cover by Squeal Cat)

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