Why do parrots speak?
A parrot brings joy to the life of anyone who crosses its path. And this is not only because of the bright colors that bathe the plumage of many of them, or because of the elegance they give off, as is the case with the African gray parrot, but because, as you know, there are those that speak… A lot! But have you ever wondered why parrots talk? We invite you to discover the answer!
The family of psittaciformes birds, commonly known as parrots or parrots, includes many other species of birds.
All species of parrots, as well as some subspecies, have the ability to imitate some sounds from nature and certain words.
The funny thing is that they are capable of doing it… even without having vocal cords!
Also, this is not the only curiosities of parrots that can surprise you. And it is that parrots, really, do not speak! People are the only beings that have the ability to speak.
That means that all these birds do is repeat words and sounds that they frequently hear in their environment.
For this reason, we must bear in mind that they have the ability to repeat a sound, but not the cognitive capacity for communication. This means that the words they repeat have no meaning to them, nor can they communicate independent ideas. Come on, you’re not going to be able to have a conversation with your parrot.
So, answering the question that has brought us here, that is, why do parrots really speak, it would be necessary to say that they do not speak, but merely imitate sounds.
The sociability of parrots
This, in turn, has a reason. Parrots are very sociable and when communicating with their peers, they imitate each other. This helps them to contact each other, but also to feel part of the group, to locate themselves, etc.
As has already been said in response to why parrots speak, it is understood that it is by imitation and by socializing. Hence, if they live with people, they end up reproducing words and, furthermore, they do it when we are present as a way of socializing with us.
Even so, there is a question that remains in the air: how can they reproduce those sounds so clear that it even seems that they speak, if they do not have vocal cords?
How do parrots imitate sounds?
The reality is that parrots are able to imitate the sounds they hear and human voices thanks to the fact that they have an organ called the syrinx.
These birds have a unique respiratory system and use the muscles of their trachea in a particular way.
The syrinx is located at the lower end of the trachea, where the bifurcation that forms the bronchi begins. This allows them to imitate two or more sounds at the same time.
These sounds are produced by the vibrations of the air passing through the syrinx, or thanks to the vibrations of the air on the walls.
In addition to what has been mentioned, it must be borne in mind that the brain of these birds is more complex than that of other species. Among its particular characteristics, they have specific areas dedicated to the imitation of sounds.
However, not all parrots imitate the human voice. For this to happen, specific circumstances must exist.
First of all, the animal must be constantly exposed to it, especially since it is small.
On the other hand, he must receive positive reinforcements before these repetitions so that he can strengthen them. Parrots are highly intelligent animals and it will not be difficult for them to learn if they are well encouraged.
Now you know why parrots talk. Would you have imagined that when you really hear them reproduce words so clearly, they don’t know what they are saying?