Happy Father's Day from Birds of Paradise
Happy Father’s Day to all dads everywhere!
On Father's Day, much of the world will take the time to appreciate the good work of fathers. While we show our admiration for our own dad’s, we’d like to take a moment to appreciate the hard work and dedication of wild Parrot dad’s!
As pets, parrots mimic the sounds around them, including their human companions. But in the wild, they only make the sounds of their own species.
Wild parrots address each other using what scientists call "signature contact calls"—which for a human is akin to recognizing someone’s voice even if you can’t see them.
Now that begs the question, "How do parrots learn to communicate?" The answer is that parrots learn to communicate while they’re in the nest.
In a scientific study, researchers examined the role of father parrots in teaching their chicks contact calls. They studied six Meyer's Parrots from fledgling time to weaning. For those of you that may not be familiar with a Meyer’s Parrot, they are a small but stocky African parrot with black feathers, a turquoise belly, a blue rump and bright yellow markings on the carpal joint of the wings.
Recordings of songs from chicks and fathers were analyzed for similarities in frequency and time parameters. With age, the subsongs of the chicks became increasingly similar to the vocalizations of their fathers—growing from 20% similarity in the first week to 100% at weaning time. Nice work dad's!
Perhaps most impressive is that the chicks exclusively learned their father’s songs—even with exposure to stimuli vocalizations of other parrot species nearby.
The study concluded that the chicks exclusively learned their father’s songs and supported the hypothesis that Meyer’s Parrots are vocal learners that use their father as their tutor.
So, we say it once more, Happy Father’s Day to non-feathered and feathered dad’s everywhere. We thank you for just being you on this well-deserved day of appreciation.