How Do Parrots Talk? 🦜

3 min read

Morning Birdies!

Have you ever seen those videos of parrots speaking before?

And they are like… really good at it.

Saying stuff like:

Parrots and a couple other birds are the only animals capable of producing such eloquent human speech.

But how is this even possible?

Well, most wild parrots are highly social creatures.

They use their squawking abilities to communicate with each other a lot.

See parrots often stick together in smaller groups and use special “contact calls” to stay in touch

when their buddies are out of sight.

And that basically just means: “ARE YOU ALIVE, WHERE ARE YOU???”

These very personalized calls mean they need a very sophisticated ability to mimic complex sounds.

Parrot brains contain these interconnected regions that make it easy for them to hear, remember, and produce complex sounds.

This special anatomy allows parrots to bark, scream, curse, recite facts and curse more.

But, as an example, how does a parrot produce a sound like this:

Well, a human person would string these sounds together using the voice box with one flappy bit at the top to control airflow.

But in a bird they have their voice box way lower with 2 flappy bits.

This allows them to produce highly complex sounds.

But it also gives them a really cool ability to produce 2 distinct sounds at the same time.

Which allows for even more complexity.

Now, the other main thing that separates parrots from regular non-talking birds is this:

Parrots have REALLY flexible and wiggly tongues.

Which are super useful for manipulating seeds and nuts.

But they also use this uncanny wiggly tongue ability to shape the sounds they produce into actual words.

Just like we do!

Stay Cute,
Reece, Henry & Dylan 🌈

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