[Watch] Parrots Can Video Chat Too!
New Delhi: Parrots are known to mimic human speech very well. It turns out that they can video chat as well. According to a recent study conducted by Northeastern University, MIT, and the University of Glasgow, domesticated parrots can learn to use tablets and smartphones to communicate with one another.
In the wild, they communicate using a variety of vocalisations. However, in captivity, they may not have the same opportunities to interact with other birds. Rebecca Kleinberger, Jennifer Cunha and Ilyena Hirskyj Douglas teamed up to teach a group of parrots how to use the technology on Facebook Messenger. The team worked with a group of parrots and their caregivers to train them in the use of tablets and smartphones. The results were promising, suggesting that video chat could indeed benefit parrots in captivity.
The experiment lasted for approximately three months, during which the researchers closely observed how the parrots utilised their newly acquired ability. The parrots were not only able to initiate calls but also showed an understanding that a real fellow parrot was on the other side. Some caretakers even reported that their birds learned new skills from their video friends. “She came alive during the calls,” News18 reported quoting a caretaker.
Jennifer Cunha shared a heartwarming story about her own bird, Ellie, a Goffin’s cockatoo, who became friends with an African grey parrot named Cookie from California during the study. Even after more than a year, the two birds still communicate with one another.
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