Loading...
Off the Leash Off the Leash

Parrots appear to name their young

Scientists believe it may be a historic find.

By Vetstreet Nov 15, 2012 6:16PM

A National Geographic team studying green-rumped parrotlets in Venezuela found some very rare behavior: The parents seem to name their fledglings.

Image: Green-rumped Parrotlet (Arco Images GmbH/Alamy)By listening to recordings of the birds’ chatter, explorer Karl Berg’s team found that the baby birds appeared to recognize and learn individual calls made specifically for them by the adults.

If the babies were learning the contact calls directly from their parents, then this would be the first example of a nonhuman species teaching acoustical communication.

— Watch it at National Geographic

Bing: Watch and listen to parrots talking.

Subscribe to Off the Leash

Image: Green-rumped Parrotlet (Arco Images GmbH/Alamy)

More from Vetstreet:
5 Cold Weather Pet Dangers to Avoid
Bald Eagles Making a Remarkable Comeback, Even Near Urban Areas
5 Dog Breeds That Are Sadly Losing Popularity
Video: Kitten & Parrot Fight Over Couch Supremacy
Why Does My Dog… Sleep Belly Up?

33Comments
Nov 16, 2012 1:16AM
avatar

When I was a kid, back in the late sixties, a large raven showed up in my family's yard and it talked! It was friendly, got on are arms, and when it spoke it said, "Hi, I'm spooky," or just "I'm spooky." One of our neighbors took it in and from what I heard it lived a long happy life with him and his family.

Nov 16, 2012 12:24AM
avatar

how cute :3 i have some birds and i love just watching them they do silly things i <3 them!

Nov 15, 2012 11:53PM
avatar

All creatures in our world possess a soul or spirit and that even includes plants in my opinion.  Horticulturists will all tell you that a plant responds to loving care much better than to abuse or just being ignored.  Dairy cattle generally give more milk when they are kept in comfortable surroundings and hear pleasant music.  Gorillas have demonstrated that they are capable of desiring the company of pets such as a kitten and in one instance a child fell into the gorilla exhibit at a zoo and a female not only protected the child from an agressive male but lifted the unconcsious child up to rescuers as they were lowering into the enclosure to retreive him.

 

There is also a case where a researcher spent a great deal of time teaching a gorilla how to use American sign language.  She developed a very extensive vocabulary and eventually began to express her feelings and emotions using language.  When her feline cage mate died she became depressed and when asked what was troubling her she told her keeper that she missed her kitty.  They got her another and she returned to her normal self. 

Nov 15, 2012 11:44PM
Nov 15, 2012 11:27PM
avatar
Fish are not very good at remembering names, mine keeps calling me Bob.
Nov 15, 2012 10:56PM
avatar
We're only starting to scratch the surface of understanding on how the other species on this planet communicate.  More research needs to be done to have better grasp on what our furred and feathered and even fishy neighbors are saying to and about us.
Nov 15, 2012 10:50PM
avatar
It wouldn't be the first example discovered.  Mother Mexican Freetail bats teach their young a unique series of chirps, like a song, and use it in a call and response to find their babies after returning from feeding.
Nov 15, 2012 10:36PM
avatar
If a bird can remember my name, of course it can name its siblings?
Report
Please help us to maintain a healthy and vibrant community by reporting any illegal or inappropriate behavior. If you believe a message violates theCode of Conductplease use this form to notify the moderators. They will investigate your report and take appropriate action. If necessary, they report all illegal activity to the proper authorities.
Categories
100 character limit
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?

pics, advice, info and stories for pet lovers

  • Puppy friends (Photo: Courtesy of Mikkel Becker)

    Can dogs have best friends?

    The strong bonds that dogs can form are undeniable.

  • Angry cat (Photo: Thinkstock)

    10 things your pet won’t tell you

    Think you know your pet’s every unspoken wish? Think again. Your pet is unlikely to be capable of communicating her wants and needs in ways you might assume she would. Even those of you most in touch with your pets' feelings are likely missing a few cues here and there.

  • Chesapeake Bay Retrievers (Photo: Thinkstock)

    10 dog breeds that love and hate the water

    The Chesapeake Bay Retriever made both our readers' and veterinary professionals' lists of breeds that love the water.

  • 7 signs your dog owns you

    7 signs your dog owns you

    You might proudly call yourself a dog owner, pet parent or canine guardian, but let’s be real: Your dog owns you. You might be laughing now, but think about it — you've surrendered the best seat on the sofa to him, you plan your entire weekend around his trips to the dog park, and you take him to the groomer more often than you get your own hair cut. And let's not forget who's in every photo on your Facebook and Instagram feeds. Sound familiar? We thought so. But in case you still think you're in charge, here are seven classic signs that your dog is the one calling the shots.

  • 9 unusual dog breeds

    9 unusual dog breeds the vet is seeing more of

    One of the best things about being a veterinarian is all the different dogs I get to meet. Of course, I love the Labs and Beagles and Boxers and Poodles, not to mention those crazy Canine Cocktails, or what my parents used to call Heinz 57s. They are among the more popular dogs out there, and I see a lot of them. In fact, it used to be that it was rare to see anything else. Here are nine dog breeds I sometimes see now that I didn’t see in the past.

  • Shaving dog (Credit: Thinkstock)

    10 dog breeds that shed the most and least

    We asked veterinary experts and readers which breeds they think and if it is OK to shave longhaired pets in the summer.

  • Maine Coon

    12 kid-friendly cat breeds

    If you're searching for a breed that may enjoy the company of a kid, we have some great suggestions for you.

  • Labrador Retriever

    9 large dogs that can be good for families

    When searching for the right dog to add to your family, your first instinct might be to bring home a tiny little thing that your kids can cradle in their laps. But we're here to remind you that the best fit for you may be a large dog breed.

  • Akita

    11 stubborn dog breeds

    Many breeds were developed to do work that required them to act independently. Those dogs tend to be smart, but as family pets, they may need more leadership and training than others. Ultimately, though, they’re worth it. Here are 11 dog breeds that tend to have independent personalities.

  • Chimera cat with interesting facial colors

    13 pets with cool coats and markings

    Many of us here at Vetstreet are fascinated by pets who have unique coats and cool shapes hidden in their markings. So we asked our Facebook fans to share pictures of animals that have interesting coloration, and you did not disappoint. From mustachioed cats to a horse of a different color, here are our 13 favorite photos of pets with cool coats.

  • Jack Russell Terrier

    Dog breeds most likely to chew something up and land in the ER

    We surveyed 284 veterinary professionals (including vets, veterinary technicians and office staff) to see which breeds they felt were most likely to chew something they shouldn't and wind up in the veterinary emergency room, and we've listed the top five answers below. Do you agree with their opinions? Which breeds would you add to the list?

  • ​Simone Pievani, Getty Images // ​Simone Pievani, Getty Images (​Simone Pievani, Getty Images)

    Help your pet brave the Fourth of July fireworks

    This Fourth of July, Americans will celebrate with the sights and sounds of fireworks. While we love the pyrotechnics, it's important to remember that our patriotic midsummer spectacular is no holiday for many of our pets.

Loading...
buzzing now on msn living
Loading...
family videos
editor's pick
Loading...