What Does Polly Say? Survey Shows Parrots Can All Speak At The Same Level

Many of us who don’t have parrots are amazed at the ability they have to mimic their owners and other sounds nearby. Interestingly, it also amazes those who own parrots as well but in a different way.

There is a lot that is unknown about their abilities and exactly what they are doing when they mimic their owners, but 900 parrot owners came together to answer a survey that sheds some light on the subject.

Photo: Pexels/Couleur

The results of that survey, “What Does Polly Say?,” really shed some light on the subject that you may not have seen before. In the end, it is sure to enhance your appreciation of what these beautiful birds are able to do.

As far as true language is concerned, humans stand on their own. No other animal is able to communicate in the same way but parrots use their mimicry skills in such a way that it really is difficult to know the difference. After all, they can learn accents and improvisation, as well as know when to speak in context.

Photo: Pexels/Werlley Meira

One thing that came out of the survey was the fact that all parrots seemed to have the same abilities. It doesn’t matter if it was a young parrot, an old parrot, or a male or female. They all had the same ability in their skill level.

What was different was the skill from one species to another. For example, African Grey parrots were able to speak some 60 words, but cockatoos, Amazons, and Macaws could only speak about half that much.

Within the species, there wasn’t a difference in the words that were used among the genders but the behavior was different in some cases.

Photo: Pexels/Pixabay

For example, among the Pacific parrotlets, only the males could speak. Male Budgerigars were able to speak more words than their female counterparts. When all was said and done, however, those statistics really didn’t impact the data enough to be significant.

One thing that came out of the study that was well worth noting is that 89% of parrots understood how to mimic the words in context, inserting them where a human would.

There were also about half of the parrots that would sometimes rearrange the words they knew in order to be spontaneous in the phrases they spoke. Check out the video below:

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