Skip to content
September 19, 2011 / V A Nichols

Be careful what you say

Escaped Pet Birds Are Teaching Wild Birds to Speak English

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Written by Stephen Messenger, a Treehugger blogger

Across parts of Australia, reports have been pouring in of strange voices chattering high in the treetops — mysterious, nonsensical 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.

This post was originally published by Treehugger.

Read more: http://www.care2.com/causes/escaped-pet-birds-are-teaching-wild-birds-to-speak-english.html#ixzz1YPn7RNdQ

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: