Parrots are intelligent creatures and will quickly learn sign language with positive reinforcement.
Combined with targeted training, this will make it much easier for the bird to understand.
Obviously, they cannot physically learn to respond with signs, but they can learn approaches.
Zoos have been teaching gestures to all kinds of animals for years. If a hippo understands sign language, so does a parrot.
Parrots are one of the few animals that can learn human language.
While other birds can imitate certain human sounds, parrots can imitate human speech better than other creatures.
Although some parrots have developed imitation abilities that allow them to utter human words and phrases, they do not understand their meanings.
However, when owners regularly communicate with their parrots through speech, parrots can acquire a contextual understanding of these words and phrases.
Communication is vital for wild flock parrots, which is why captive parrots talk to their owners because they see them as part of their flock.
Although we would like to believe that parrots understand what we say, the extent to which they can decipher our language depends on their owner’s interaction with them.
Do Parrots Understand English?
It is unlikely that parrots can understand human words. However, they can recognise the context.
Parrots are not evolved enough to distinguish our languages.
They learn their hosts’ languages, but do not understand what words and phrases mean, no matter what language they are spoken in.
Although parrots may appear to understand English, they pronounce similar sounding words.
Our brains fill in the blanks by tricking us into thinking that the parrot has pronounced the word when it made a gibberish sound.
However, parrots have such advanced mimicry skills that their sounds are a true copy of the word
For example, if a host says “Hello” as he enters a room, the parrot is likely to respond to him because he understands that he is making that sound as he enters the room.
However, there is no context behind the word and parrots do not know what “Hello” means.
Similarly, when an appliance, such as a microwave or an oven, makes a beeping sound, people usually rush to it.
Therefore, parrots relate to the beep in the same way as they do to the human word.
The “beep” itself has no contextual meaning, but parrots understand that this sound attracts their owner’s attention.
Therefore, owners should take the time to develop the parrot’s ability to speak by regularly communicating with it.
In this way, parrots can gain some contextual understanding of the sounds their owners regularly use.
How do parrots vocalise human speech
Parrots are vocal learners; they learn sounds by imitating them. A scientific study described that parrots’ brains are unique in that they contain a song system within a song system.
The basic song system is the same as in songbirds and hummingbirds, but the shell is unique to parrots.
Although researchers have yet to figure out how this shell system works, they believe it is the key to their expert imitation abilities.
Parrots learn human words because they are ingrained to match them.
In the wild, parrots voice important information to their flock. They also use sounds to conform.
Joining in a flock provides protection from predators and allows parrots to forage for food together, which gives them a better chance of survival.
As a result, pet parrots mimic human sounds because they perceive their owners as their flock.
This means they integrate into it by imitating words and phrases.
Similarly, parrots make sounds by altering the air passing through the syrinx. This is a fluid-filled cavity inside the spinal cord or brainstem.
It is known as the vocal organ of birds and is located at the base of the trachea.
Parrots use their tongue to create vibrations that pass through the syrinx, reproducing the sounds they hear.
As parrots do not have vocal cords, they do not ‘speak’ as such, but they mimic the sounds of human speech.
How do parrots remember words
Scientists believe parrots have a memory as good as ours.
They have parts of their brain that work in the same way as the human cortex.
Therefore, they have a high density of neurons and developed cognitive functions, which means that parrots have excellent memory.
It has also been found that parrots can remember situations, people and other parrots throughout their lives.
Unfortunately, this also means that they can remember violent situations, which causes stress and symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder.
Parrots therefore use their developed memory to learn and distinguish between words and phrases.
They then store this information until they decide to use it.