It takes someone with very little imagination to insist that animals don't communicate. Those of us who have companion parrots even know they "talk" and "listen" to us.

The way humans use language does indeed set us apart from most animals but some animals demonstrate they can learn our language. We all know about research on Alex the Parrot. But what about Chaser the dog, who recognizes hundreds of words? And Kanzi the bonobo, who appears to have a sophisticated understanding of spoken English?

This episode of PBS NOVA explores what animals are saying and what new research into animal language tells us about the roots of our own language.


Some people are under the impression that budgies (budgerigar parakeets) aren't trainable because they are so small. Quite a few people, in fact, think budgies aren't even real parrots.

Not only are they parrots, check out this guy's very entertaining comedy act comprised of trick trained budgies. (He's saying "Allez, allez!" which means "let's go" in French)

Unless you have a very strong relationship with your parakeets already, I wouldn't recommend man-handling them as this entertainer does. These are clearly very well-trained birds. 🙂

Interested in adding some pet budgies to your family? Check out this post about parakeet cages and enrichment.


Lala the Pet Penguin

April 29, 2013

Lala the penguin was rescued from a fishing net and made himself at home with a Japanese family. He even earns his keep by doing the shopping at the fish market.

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Budgie Bird Cage Set-Ups

March 20, 2012

Budgerigars (a.k.a. “budgies”), often simply called “parakeets” in America, are one of the most popular species of pet birds. But most people don’t realize that budgies are actually little parrots. And like all parrots, budgies are super smart and need mental and environmental enrichment, a great diet, appropriate toys, and lots of attention and playtime. […]

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Sleep-Talking Parrot of the Day

February 14, 2012

You can hear Disco, the budgie, mumble hilarious phrases in his sleep, like: “Nobody puts baby bird in a corner” and “Don’t just stand there, bust a move!”

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Just for Fun: Hatebeak

December 26, 2011

The Internet is filled with so many wondrous things that sometimes we take it for granted. But every once in a while, something comes along that makes you stop in awe and say … … WTF is that? This isn’t just death metal. No! Hatebeak is a death metal band fronted by… an African Grey […]

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The Dominance Myth

December 1, 2011

In the parrot world, respected avian trainers and parrot behaviorists have long challenged the notion that the concept of “dominance” or “alpha status” makes much sense with birds. Trying to dominate a prey animal is just a bad strategy. Parrots don’t have the same social structures or psychologies as dogs, who are predators and pack […]

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Bird Cages: Finch Cage Setup

November 30, 2011
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Finches have very different needs than parrots, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t give careful thought to providing a great cage environment for these small birds. Though they might not be as large or playful as parrots, they do need a lot of room (none of those awful decorative cages that hang in the corner, […]

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Bird Cages: Cape Parrot Cage Set-Up

November 26, 2011
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Cape Parrots are largest of the Poicephalus family of parrots, native to Africa. They are a short-tailed species with distinctive, large beaks. Size-wise, they could be considered similar to the African Grey parrot, although they don’t resemble each other. If you have a Cape parrot or are considering buying a cape, we encourage you to […]

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Angry Birds Pet Toys

November 26, 2011
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So this is now a thing… Angry Bird-themed pet toys With the success of Rovio’s Angry Birds game, the popularity of the merch was inevitable. Now your pets can join the fun of flinging Angry Bird toys across the living room with a variety of Rovio-licensed cat and dog toys, including plush chew toys, pull […]

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