Alex was also able to deal with abstracts and was good at problem solving. Pepperberg was able to exchange thoughts with Alex. I believed she proved to any non-believers that birds can do much more than mimic, they can communicate.
I never taught a bird to talk by repeating a phrase or word over and over. I taught simply by example. I would talk to the bird, ask questions, describe what I was doing while going about my daily activities.
When I was a young child we had a parakeet. I am not really sure whose pet it was but remembering back it was my mother who spent the most time with him.
She would repeat a phrase over and over again, and that is exactly what Blueboy did, said the same thing, over and over again; pretty bird, Blueboy, pretty bird, Blueboy. That is why you teach communication not repetition.
One of my first parrots was a hand-fed baby. I would spend hours a day with this bird. Even if I couldn’t spend one on one time with him, even if I was just cleaning house I would always talk to the bird. I just simply described what I saw, depicted what I was doing, asked him questions, though it was a while until I saw the results of my efforts.
When I put the cage cover over the cage during the night, I would sit close by and listen. In the sweetest, lowest voice imaginable I could hear this bird mumbling to himself, over and over, mumble mutter, until he went to sleep. He was practicing speech. I also didn’t recognize any formed words in the mutters. It was a while until he uttered his first words. However, as the nights went by I could hear more variations in tone and inflections in his mutters.
Find out what my parrot Riker said the next morning. It will truly astonish you! Does a bird communicate? You be the judge of that! Bird Talk
The Parrot Problem Solver [Hardcover] Use this link to find the less expensive electronic version of this book. (Kindle)
Diana Geiger Exotic Pets Editoron