Bird Communication & Language

TVgeek

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#1
Budgie Communication

This is fascinating!

http://www.budgieresearch.homestead.com/
Link is dead, and so is the domain.


---<snip>-------------
The main focus of the study is about a budgie named
Victor who had a vocabulary of more than 800 words and thousands of phrases. It shows how he pronounced these words and understood their meanings as well. You can hear him talking about feelings and emotions that we thought were only restricted to humans. Recently other budgies have started to talk in similar context as well. You can hear some of their recordings here too. We believe these recordings are some of the most important examples of animal intelligence ever provided.
---<snip>-------------

In the final month-or-so of his life, this bird actually
started talking about God.

I saw this on TechTV the other night, and even the
typically skeptical host was amazed. The two birds
in studio responded to a videotape playback as though
they were repeating the same "conversation" between themselves.

Could it be a hoax? Easily! But just in case this guy
is onto something -- check it out!

TVgeek

-- Mods, merge away if this has been covered elsewhere!
 
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A

Anonymous

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#2
Yeah, there's a lot about us parrots that people just don't want to believe. There's a famous African Grey called Alex that speaks in context, and many parrot owners have stories of their birds talking to them and making perfect sense. personally, I think we have an intelligence that rivals chimps and dolphins, it's just that nobody has bothered to look.
 

beakboo1

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#4
Did somebody squeak?
I have to agree, having owned dogs, budgies and cats, I know from experience that budgies knock spots off the other two for intelligence, and mine weren't even talking ones. They certainly managed to communicate with me in their own individual ways, (usually abuse) and had a very complex little society going in that aviary. It was fascinating to watch, kind of like Big Brother, but with better conversation.
 

The late Pete Younger

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#5
So what are the world's most intelligent birds? Woodpeckers rank high in the bird intelligence pecking order. As an example of their innovation, take the gila woodpecker found in the south west USA and Mexico that fashions a wooden scoop out of tree bark to carry honey home to its young. Also high in intelligence are birds of prey (e.g. hawks, eagles and falcons). Bald eagles in northern Arizona have discovered that dead minnows lay frozen under the surface of ice-covered lakes. On lakes where the ice is thin, eagles can be found chipping holes in the surface. This alone is not enough to earn them their meal however; the eagles then jump up and down on the surface of the ice, using their body weight to push the minnows up though the holes. The most intelligent bird group according to Lefebvre's research are crows. The Japanese carrion crow exhibits a remarkable behaviour that demonstrates why this bird is at the top of the "bird brain" charts. At a university campus in Japan, carrion crows have developed a unique feeding innovation that exploits human technology. Carrion crows perch at traffic intersections and patiently wait for the red light. When the vehicles come to a stop, the crows spring into action - they fly down to the cars and place walnuts under the tyres. These crows are smart enough to have figured out that the simplest way to open a nut is to get someone else to do it for you!
 

Imperial_Call

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#6
Has anyone managed to listen to the recording on the site?? Does it sound like the budgie is saying what it's supposed to be saying etc??
 

GNC

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#7
It sounds like something out of The Exorcist! Whether that's a budgie speaking, I don't know, but I'm sceptical. I've owned two pet budgies, and they were intelligent, but they were also barmy. I wouldn't think they would be as good at conversation as the one on that site.
 

beakboo1

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#8
GNC said:
I've owned two pet budgies, and they were intelligent, but they were also barmy.
They do seem barmy to us alright GNC, but we have to bear in mind that primates and psittacines are very different species, which different ways of thinking. That could be the most interesting aspect to a fortean really, as it highlights how different an ET intelligence could be if one were ever encountered, so much so that we may never be able to communicate with them at all.
Sorry, off thread. :eek:
 

beakboo1

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#9
Having finally managed to listen to some of it, I'm a little sceptical too.
 

phi23

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#10
A friend of mine owned a budgie that could talk. It mostly seemed to imitate his brothers, sounding like a scratchy old wire recording. From time to time it would say "Shite!" which always amused me when I'd go round to his house for lunch. One day when said budgie was flying around the living room the front door was open and his dad came in through the back door causing one of those differences in pressure or breezes that slammed the kitchen door. Unfortunately the door slammed on the budgie and his crippled body dropped to the floor... just before he went off to the big aviary in the sky he managed with his final breath to say... "Shite!"
 

Imperial_Call

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#11
I can't listen to the recordings on the site as I don't have the appropriate software (so it tells me). My grandparents had a budgie many many years ago, and my gran used to watch wrestling on TV (the old fashioned stuff on World Of Sport) and she used to cuss at the wrestlers, the budgie picked up on this and his catch phrase was "cheeky wee bugger", he used to say it when the telly was on and if you stood and said cheeky wee bugger to him 20 times, but I wouldn't have said it was a sign of tremendous intelligence...
 

GNC

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#12
I suppose communicating intelligently with a budgie or any other animal would be a bit like talking to an alien species, but I'm reminded of the Far Side cartoon where the man invents a device to enable him to understand dogs, and they're all saying "HEY! HEY!"

Even if little Victor is saying all that he's supposed to be, I think what he means is in the ears of the listener. Every so often there's an "And finally" on the news where a talented budgie or parrot appears, but they just sound like good mimics to me. I'd like to be wrong.
 

rynner2

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#13
Another interesting brd brain:

CHICKEN THAT LIKES TO THINK IT'S A DOG
Westcountry smallholder Rosemary Bishop reckons one of her chickens is barking mad - because it seems to think it is a dog. Her tiny bantam, called Mrs Seabright, despises the other chickens, preferring to sleep in the same bed as her two pet collies, Jess and Lexi.

During the day, she wanders outside to the dog kennel and patrols around the farm like a guard dog.

If a cat is foolish enough to stray into the Mrs Seabright territory, she chases the intruder over the fence.

And despite being just the size of a pigeon, she has even been known to pick fights with Mrs Bishop's other dog, a Jack Russell called Judi.

In 30 years of rearing chickens, Mrs Bishop, 62, says she has never seen anything like it.

"She must think she's a dog, there's no other explanation," she said.

"My husband made her a personal hutch to get her away from the other chickens, because she really didn't like them.

But she hated being in the hutch as well. She would pace up and down as though it was a prison.

"When we let her out once, she wouldn't go back in. She just flew off.

"I was worried sick because I had two border collies in the garden, and I thought they would have eaten her alive.

"But that night we found her in the yard with the two collies, parading around while they were watching her. That night she went to bed with them and she's been with them ever since."

Now the two-year-old chicken eats dog food from the same bowl as the dogs. "She eats green tripe instead of grain," said Mrs Bishop.

"She insists on being fed first. The two dogs wait until she's finished before they can eat.

"When we get the leads out to take the dogs for a walk, she gets all excited and rushes out to the gate. We have to leave her behind."

Bizarrely, Mrs Bishop's two cats Purdi and Jack, also appear to believe Mrs Seabright is a dog.

"They are terrified of her," she says. "Normally a cat will catch a chicken the size of Mrs Seabright and not think anything about it.

"The other day, Purdi was meowing in the garden and the Mrs Seabright went for her, and she flew over the fence and ran off.

"But even though she was aware of the chicken's eccentric behaviour, Mrs Bishop was still shocked when she found it scrapping with her Jack Russell Judi.

"I heard this fight going on and went outside, and Judi was scrapping with Jess, one of the collies," she said.

"There, on the top of Judi's head, was Mrs Seabright, pecking away at her. It was like she was saying: 'How dare you attack my friend.' If I'd had a video camera, I would have just let the fight go on. I just couldn't believe that a chicken would get into a dog fight."

Mrs Seabright is a huge hit with Mrs Bishop's four grandchildren, who visit her farm in Liverton, Devon during their school holidays.

She and her husband Bernard, 62, a retired builder, now hope to catch the chicken's antics on video.
I saw this in the print edition - there was a good piccie of two bemused looking dogs in their kennel, looking at this crazy chicken! :)
 

Bannik

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#14
beakboo said:
I have to agree, having owned dogs, budgies and cats, I know from experience that budgies knock spots off the other two for intelligence, and mine weren't even talking ones. They certainly managed to communicate with me in their own individual ways, (usually abuse)...
My budgie died a couple nights ago. I've lost many pets over the years, and I feel not as though I've lost a pet but as though I've lost a human friend. I'd say he was at least as intelligent as most dogs I've seen. He didn't he speak in words (just chirpped) but he was very communicate in his own unique way. He too was very abusive (both verbally and physically). I thought it was cute though. I will miss him greatly.:sob: :sob:

He also like to beat up his own reflection in the mirror alot.
 

beakboo1

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#15
:glum: I feel for you Bannik :( Take no notice of the ignorant people who may say to you "but it was only a budgie", they can't help it, they don't understand that a budgie has more personality packed into it's tiny frame than a big old slobbery dog.
 

Bannik

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#16
beakboo said:
:glum: I feel for you Bannik :( Take no notice of the ignorant people who may say to you "but it was only a budgie", they can't help it, they don't understand that a budgie has more personality packed into it's tiny frame than a big old slobbery dog.
Thanks Beakboo. I'm glad you can understand.:)
 
A

Anonymous

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#17
pi23 said:
A friend of mine owned a budgie that could talk. It mostly seemed to imitate his brothers, sounding like a scratchy old wire recording. From time to time it would say "Shite!" which always amused me when I'd go round to his house for lunch. One day when said budgie was flying around the living room the front door was open and his dad came in through the back door causing one of those differences in pressure or breezes that slammed the kitchen door. Unfortunately the door slammed on the budgie and his crippled body dropped to the floor... just before he went off to the big aviary in the sky he managed with his final breath to say... "Shite!"
By parents live next door to an elderly Italian couple who have a bilingual budgie. It escaped one day & they placed an ad on local radio offering a small reward for helping to return it, adding that it could respond to it's name in both English & Italian.
 

Yithian

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#18
Parrot's oratory stuns scientists

By Alex Kirby
BBC News Online environment correspondent

The finding of a parrot with an almost unparalleled power to communicate with people has brought scientists up short.
The bird, a captive African grey called N'kisi, has a vocabulary of 950 words, and shows signs of a sense of humour.

He invents his own words and phrases if he is confronted with novel ideas with which his existing repertoire cannot cope - just as a human child would do.

N'kisi's remarkable abilities, which are said to include telepathy, feature in the latest BBC Wildlife Magazine.

N'kisi is believed to be one of the most advanced users of human language in the animal world.

About 100 words are needed for half of all reading in English, so if N'kisi could read he would be able to cope witha wide range of material.

Polished wordsmith

He uses words in context, with past, present and future tenses, and is often inventive.

One N'kisi-ism was "flied" for "flew", and another "pretty smell medicine" to describe the aromatherapy oils used by his owner, an artist based in New York.

When he first met Dr Jane Goodall, the renowned chimpanzee expert, after seeing her in a picture with apes, N'kisi said: "Got a chimp?"

He appears to fancy himself as a humourist. When another parrot hung upside down from its perch, he commented: "You got to put this bird on the camera."

Dr Goodall says N'kisi's verbal fireworks are an "outstanding example of interspecies communication".

In an experiment, the bird and his owner were put in separate rooms and filmed as the artist opened random envelopes containing picture cards.

Analysis showed the parrot had used appropriate keywords three times more often than would be likely by chance.

Captives' frustrations

This was despite the researchers discounting responses like "What ya doing on the phone?" when N'kisi saw a card of a man with a telephone, and "Can I give you a hug?" with one of a couple embracing.

Professor Donald Broom, of the University of Cambridge's School of Veterinary Medicine, said: "The more we look at the cognitive abilities of animals, the more advanced they appear, and the biggest leap of all has been with parrots."

Alison Hales, of the World Parrot Trust, told BBC News Online: "N'kisi's amazing vocabulary and sense of humour should make everyone who has a pet parrot consider whether they are meeting its needs.

"They may not be able to ask directly, but parrots are long-lived, and a bit of research now could mean an improved quality of life for years."

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/3430481.stm
 
A

Anonymous

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#19
Not a budgie, but a parrot in the news today:

The finding of a parrot with an almost unparalleled power to communicate with people has brought scientists up short.
The bird, a captive African grey called N'kisi, has a vocabulary of 950 words, and shows signs of a sense of humour.

He invents his own words and phrases if he is confronted with novel ideas with which his existing repertoire cannot cope - just as a human child would do.

N'kisi's remarkable abilities, which are said to include telepathy, feature in the latest BBC Wildlife Magazine.

N'kisi is believed to be one of the most advanced users of human language in the animal world.

About 100 words are needed for half of all reading in English, so if N'kisi could read he would be able to cope witha wide range of material.

Polished wordsmith

He uses words in context, with past, present and future tenses, and is often inventive.

One N'kisi-ism was "flied" for "flew", and another "pretty smell medicine" to describe the aromatherapy oils used by his owner, an artist based in New York.

When he first met Dr Jane Goodall, the renowned chimpanzee expert, after seeing her in a picture with apes, N'kisi said: "Got a chimp?"

He appears to fancy himself as a humourist. When another parrot hung upside down from its perch, he commented: "You got to put this bird on the camera."

Dr Goodall says N'kisi's verbal fireworks are an "outstanding example of interspecies communication".

In an experiment, the bird and his owner were put in separate rooms and filmed as the artist opened random envelopes containing picture cards.

Analysis showed the parrot had used appropriate keywords three times more often than would be likely by chance.

Captives' frustrations

This was despite the researchers discounting responses like "What ya doing on the phone?" when N'kisi saw a card of a man with a telephone, and "Can I give you a hug?" with one of a couple embracing.

Professor Donald Broom, of the University of Cambridge's School of Veterinary Medicine, said: "The more we look at the cognitive abilities of animals, the more advanced they appear, and the biggest leap of all has been with parrots."

Alison Hales, of the World Parrot Trust, told BBC News Online: "N'kisi's amazing vocabulary and sense of humour should make everyone who has a pet parrot consider whether they are meeting its needs.

"They may not be able to ask directly, but parrots are long-lived, and a bit of research now could mean an improved quality of life for years."

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/3430481.stm
 

ruffready

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#21
No Birdbrain, Parrot Grasps Concept of Zero

No Birdbrain, Parrot Grasps Concept of Zero


A parrot has grasped the concept of zero, something humans can't do until at least the toddler phase, researchers say.

Alex, a 28-year-old African gray parrot who lives in a lab at Brandeis University in Massachusetts, has a brain the size of a walnut. But when confronted with no items on a tray where usually there are some, he says "none."

Zero is thought to be a rather abstract concept even for people. Children typically don't grasp it until age three or four, Brandeis researchers say. Some ancient cultures lacked a formal term for zilch, even as recently as the Middle Ages.

Feathered phenom

Alex is a fairly skilled counter. In a test, he said "none" when items on his tray were cleared. More trials were done, and the avian Einstein "consistently demonstrated the ability to identify zero quantity by saying the label 'none,'" the study concluded.

Alex's null may be slightly different than your nada.

"Alex has a zero-like concept; it's not identical to ours but he repeatedly showed us that he understands an absence of quantity," said Irene Pepperberg, who led the research

The result, published in the current issue of the Journal of Comparative Psychology, adds to growing evidence that birds and other animals are smarter than we thought.

A 2003 study in the journal Nature, for example, found that common marsh birds called coots can recognize and count their own eggs, even when other eggs are in the nest.

Black-capped chickadees were recently found to warn colleagues of danger by chirping about the size and actual threat of individual predators. The language of prairie dogs includes a word for humans.

Some animal intelligence is hauntingly familiar, like the male monkeys that pay to see female monkey bottoms. And studies show that monkeys, dogs and rats all know how to laugh.

There are obvious limits to animal intelligence, of course. Take the 450 sheep who recently jumped to their deaths for no apparent reason.

Parroting behavior?

One question that dogs animal intelligence research is whether remarkable, humanlike behaviors are innate and truly cerebral or if a creature is just parroting a trainer.

"It is doubtful that Alex's achievement, or those of some other animals such as chimps, can be completely trained," Pepperberg said. "Rather, it seems likely that these skills are based on simpler cognitive abilities they need for survival, such as recognition of more versus less."

Pepperberg said the study could help shed light on human learning disabilities.

She now plans to find out how well Alex can add and subtract.

SOURCE http://www.livescience.com/animalworld/ ... _zero.html
 

rynner2

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#22
Re: No Birdbrain, Parrot Grasps Concept of Zero

ruffready said:
Some animal intelligence is hauntingly familiar, like the male monkeys that pay to see female monkey bottoms. And studies show that monkeys, dogs and rats all know how to laugh.
That first sentence certainly gave me a good laugh!

How do the monkeys pay (£s, $s, Euros?) and how much?
I think we should be told! :D
 
A

Anonymous

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#23
What made me laugh - the parrot saying none...I suppose it just had this concept naturally and was not schooled eh? The research proves nothing... :lol: :lol: :lol:
 
A

Anonymous

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#25
Can something be nothing, or by the state of being nothing, something? :D
PS. a parot and any bird or animal may be aware of an absence of an object...but it in no way demonstrates that they have a concept of the expression 'zero'.
 

rynner2

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#26
Gadaffi_Duck said:
PS. a parot and any bird or animal may be aware of an absence of an object...but it in no way demonstrates that they have a concept of the expression 'zero'.
At its simplest, zero is just nothing, an abscence of something.

I don't think anyone's suggesting that parrots can do calculus! :D
 
A

Anonymous

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#27
Got to be picky - zero is a notation and our use of the word zero is relfection of this; because our usage is so common, we collectively forget this fact.

Most creatures are aware of absence and then develop object permenance. In regards to the parot - there is no evidence of anything other than conditioning. :D
Hmmm....Parots and calculus....seems unlikely as Terry Pratchett knows that it is camels who are the genius mathematicians :lol:
 
A

Anonymous

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#29
Birds top in languages

Monday 06 February 2006, 12:24 Makka Time, 9:24 GMT

Some birds can distinguish between sounds, say researchers


Pet birds can not only imitate sounds, they can distinguish between languages, potentially offering new clues on how the brain recognises speech, Japanese researchers say.

It has already been confirmed that monkeys, mice and other mammals can recognise different languages but this is the first time that birds have been found to possess the ability, the Mainichi Shimbun newspaper reported.

A research team exposed Java Sparrows to English and Chinese translations recorded by exchange students of two well-known Japanese novels, The Tale of Genji and Natsume Soseki's I Am a Cat.

A bird sitting on a perch first listened to the English version and was only allowed to eat afterward.

Then the researchers played English and Chinese recordings randomly and only allowed the bird to eat after hopping onto the perch with the English.

The birds correctly identified the English recording 75% of the time.

The same results were achieved with another two birds that were permitted to eat only when Chinese was played.

Intonation, pronunciation

Keio University experimental psychology professor Shigeru Watanabe, who led the research, said: "Humans are able to distinguish between languages, even ones they don't know, from the intonation and pronunciation, and it seems that paddy birds have the same ability.

"If we study common traits in brain structure, this may shed light on the mechanisms of speech recognition," Watanabe was quoted as saying by the Mainichi Shimbun.

Watanabe said paddy birds like the Java Sparrow and parakeets, which are skilled vocally, learn sounds unique to their species after becoming adults, suggesting that they have a high ability to distinguish between sounds.

The researchers did not use Japanese because it was the language the birds normally listened to, the newspaper said.
AFP
http://english.aljazeera.net/NR/
 

Kondoru

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#30
It seems a bit hard on them to make them listen to `I am a Cat`

Which is a great novel, but hardly suitable material for feathered dinos...
 
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