Mimicry and talking birds

African grey parrot

Alex, the talking parrot

Article by:
Jeffery Boswall

A remarkable case of avian vocal learning concerned a talking African grey parrot called Alex.

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Birds that imitate birdsong

Article by:
Jeffery Boswall

Some birds elaborate their songs with sounds from other bird species.

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Budgerigar Melopsittacus undulatus

Birds trained to talk and sing

Article by:
Jeffery Boswall

Deprived of the opportunity to copy their natural vocabulary, captive birds of certain species will copy not only human speech, but almost any other sounds, including music.

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Further themes

Beaks, wings and tails

Which birds drum, hum, snap, bleat and clap? And why?

Birdsong

It's the most musical of all nature's sounds, but why do birds sing?

Bird calls

What are bird calls and how do they differ from birdsong?

How birds sing and hear

How do birds learn, produce and experience such complex sounds?

Mimicry and talking birds

Some birds are excellent mimics, but can they really talk to us?