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ESCAPED PET BIRDS ARE TEACHING WILD BIRDS TO SPEAK ENGLISH

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Posted by abeodbart September 26, 2011 at 9:18 am

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“Across parts of Australia, reports have been pouring in of strange voices chattering high in the treetops — mysterious, non-sensical conversations in English. But while this phenomenon is certainly quite odd, its explanation isn’t paranormal. It turns out that escaped pet birds, namely parrots and cockatoos, have begun teaching their wild bird counterparts a bit of the language they picked up from their time in captivity — and, according to witnesses, that includes more than a few expletives.

Jaynia Sladek, an ornithologist from the Australian Museum, says that some birds are just natural mimickers, able to acquire new sounds based on things they hear around them. For birds kept as pets, these sounds tend to mirror human language — but that influence doesn’t cease even after said birds escape or are released back into the wild.

Once back in their natural environments, these chatty ex-pets eventually join with wild birds who, in turn, start picking up the new words and sounds. The remnants of that language also eventually gets passed along to the escaped birds’ offspring, much like it does for humans.

“There’s no reason why, if one comes into the flock with words, [then] another member of the flock wouldn’t pick it up as well,” Sladek said in an interview with Australian Geographic.

According to the report, ‘Hello cockie’ is one of the most commonly heard phrases feral birds are teaching in the wild, along with a host of expletives — perhaps the last words those escapees heard after their frantic owners realized they were making a break for freedom.”

Via Treehugger.com (Thanks Damon)

COMMENTS
September 27, 2011 at 2:01 am
Will says:

If you follow the TREEHUGGER.com link leads it leads to AUSTRALIAN GEOGRAPHIC.com and other interesting articles of this general nature. What could be more ‘Derren’ ?


September 27, 2011 at 3:52 pm
Coldman says:

This would be even better if the birds knew what the words meant.


October 3, 2011 at 9:54 pm
alan says:

ESCAPED PET BIRDS ARE TEACHING WILD BIRDS TO SPEAK ENGLISH
If an infinite number of parrots teach an infinite number of cockatoos to speak one word of English each. How long will it be, before a collection of them recite The Good Ship Venus. For flocksake?


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