Parrots learn how to make calls in new study


Hold on to your crackers folks, because parrots are learning a whole new skill — how to make video calls.

In a new study from Northeastern University, researchers showed a group of parrots across a range of species and their volunteer caregivers how to use tablets and smartphones to video-call one another on Facebook Messenger, with the calls lasting no longer than 5 minutes. 

After observing the pets for three months, researchers found that the birds would “initiate calls freely” and even “developed strong preferences” regarding which other birds they would form bonds with. One caregiver even reported that their parrot became fast friends with another in California. 

“It’s been over a year and they still talk,” they said. 

In conclusion, the researchers state that the results suggest that video calls could help parrots approximate birds’ communication in the wild, improving their behavior — and, likely, their well-being — in their owners’ homes.


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