Parrots and Context–A Thing.

Many people speculate over whether or not parrots understand context, or perhaps language on some rudimentary level.

I can’t answer the second part of the above statement.

But can parrot understand context? Oh yeah. Louie gets it.

One of the phrases that Louie knew before coming to us was, “Hi Shay!” which was the name of his human Dad.

We’ve never once heard him so much as mutter that. He has NEVER mistaken my husband for his old owner.

What he HAS picked up, however, is “Baby!” which is what my husband calls me. In the morning, he’ll happily exclaim, “Hi baby!” and in the evenings, right before bed, he’ll tell me, “Goodnight baby!”

When he wants attention, that will change to “Hi Louie!” and grow more and more pathetic sounding the longer we leave him in his cage.

Whenever Louie is stressed, he’ll sometimes murmur, “It’s okay, Louie,” to himself.

The first time Louie bit me (my fault–I was messing with his head, which I learned that moment that he hates), he murmured, “I’m sorry.”

He’s said that three or four times, each when he did something he knew he shouldn’t.

If I knock something over, it’s likely he’ll call out, “Oops!”

The first time he watched our little cockatiel go scurrying away from us across the floor on some exploratory mission, he exclaimed, “C’mere!” He said the same thing the first time he encountered my neighbor’s dog. And when we call him, he comes. In the shower, he’ll call to the water, “C’mere!” as if he can bring it closer to him. When he’s decided he’s done with the shower, he says, “Goodbye Louie!” And then will start calling out for me, “Baby!” with my husband (he showers with Hubby, I blowdry him).

In some ways, it is eerie.

Other phrases he knows are “You’re so pretty!” (he says this to blonde women frequently), “Y’wanna go outside?” (he says this when he is in a new place), and “Good boy!”

Do parrots understand language? Maybe. Context, though? Absolutely!

 

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