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How Do Parakeets Communicate?

I recently found this very interesting article by Parrot Intelligence Researcher and Communicator Ryan B Reynolds.

In his paper Reynolds says that:

"If you have ever seen a flock of parakeets, you may have noticed how they all seem to be chirping and vocalizing at once. To most of us, this just seems like a whole lot of birds making a bunch of noise. Most people could not imagine how they could possibly be communicating with each other or understanding what each other is saying. Many people  usually regard birds as non-sentient and unable to communicate. Others have determined that they may be able communicate some, but only at very limited levels. However, this research has shown that they are more than likely communicating at extremely high levels and each and every one of them understands what the other is saying. It also suggests that their advanced communication abilities not only allow them to understand every bird in the flock, but they are able to send and receive information simultaneously. They even take this one step further and are able to communicate and understand more than one bird at the same time using different dialects. So this is a very complex form of communication, which allows them to learn the human language very quickly in a domesticated environment. My studies have also shown, under certain conditions, they can talk and understand what they are saying many times faster than humans are capable of learning. This was evident in at least four budgies in our group that learned to speak in sophisticated conversational language before they were six months old."

I think Reynolds research is of vital importance and corroborates what we know about the birds in our back yard.

Click here to read the rest of Reynolds article.

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Breaking Through The Communication Barrier With Birds

by Francesca Doria (British Columbia)
In spite of all our New Year’s wishes, 2008 hadn’t begun well for my sister and I. Our Mum was bone-marrow transplanted and had been through a hard time, and our cat Émile, that had shared half of our lives with his endless care and reassuring love, was about to die of kidney failure. He had held out to help our mother and the two of us, but now he was wearing out, silently fading away. At the time our mother’s house had been restored, my sister and I had lived in until the inner works had started, so we had to move to our own flat where our mum already dwelt.
While I was staying with our mother and Émile, my sister Paola got back to the big house to tidy up and put in order everything. She immediately called me, informing that there was a jay she was feeding every day on my window sill and a pair of magpies building their nest on the top of our secular magnolia tree.
At first I was thrilled: I had always loved those elegant, intelligent, funny and noisy birds, and that news had surpassed my wish. But being in anxious state of mind, I nearly forgot both magpies and the friendly jay, until I came back home along with our mum, Émile and our other four cats.
The magpies were still at work: the male brought branches and other items, the female observed/examined them carefully, tried them out, sometimes discharged them, and he flew back and forth trying to find the best things to fit.
magpie nest in tree
The jay was still coming, curiously watching the new incomers. There also was a couple of large hooded crows, that were the undisputed owners of that territory, from a bird’s point of view.
We came back home on 4th March 2008: Émile made a huge effort to visit once again all the rooms of the house; although many things had changed dramatically (my sister’s room had a different entrance, one of the bathrooms had been rebuilt and much more) he recognized his house, blessed it and stood with us quietly and warmly as he had always done.
On 16th March he was put to sleep: until that day the sky had been beautifully crystalline and blue, the sun had shone bright, the moon at night was big and white in a starry sky, the sea was stunningly navy blue and glittering with sun sparkling, there were breathtaking sunsets. But that day the sky grew dark, and heavy drops of rain began to fall. They got heavier and heavier, like a machine gun; although I was dazed with grief, I couldn’t help thinking of the poor birds outside, especially the pair of magpies, whose nest was under that torrential rain. The female sat on her eggs and never moved; the male brought her food.
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Purple Finches Train Novelist Resa Nelson - Part 2

Resa NelsonNovelsit Resa Nelson continues her story about how the finches in her garden trained her.

 The finches have been nesting on my balcony for years, and it's common to get two nests (at different times) in the same flower basket each spring.  I'm always fascinated by the behavior of each family because they're so different. 

It took the parents a while to train me when to go out and buy a basket (they let me know when they're ready to build a nest), as well as how I've communicated with a mother that I only want to water the plant and not harm the nest or eggs.  

purple finch mother feeding babies 

She was at first upset until I showed her exactly what I was doing, and then it was like watching a light bulb go off over her head and all I had to do from that point on was show the water bottle to her and she would fly off to let me water and stay calm instead of getting upset.


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Novelist Resa Nelson's Baby Purple Finches - Part 1

I love your website!  I've been a huge fan of birds all my life and have friends who are bird rehabilitators.  Your stories about birds are charming.  My readers know how much I love birds, and I'm sure they'd love to learn about your site!  I have a Red-Tailed Hawk that I've befriended (by chasing away crows that were mobbing it).  But what my readers know best are my stories of how Purple Finches nest on my balcony every year, just a foot from my window.  In fact, I plan to post a video on YouTube of great footage I got of the babies exercising their flight muscles and nearly flying out of the nest before they were ready and will send you the details shortly.

--  Resa Nelson, Author,
'Our Lady Of The Absolute' - out now! 


Each year Purple Finches nest one foot from  my window.

In each family, one baby takes a leadership role and does something unique.  

baby finches


In this family, the baby leader perches on the edge of the nest.


 baby finches 

the perching baby exercises its flight muscles by flapping its wings.

It's two siblings watch... 

 baby finches

This is something I've never seen a baby Purple Finch do

before.  It's stretching it's legs.  

 baby finches

Notice the tufts of baby fuzz on the birds' heads.  Here

it's easier to see the markings and colouring of the baby's breast.


 baby purple finches

The dominant baby has returned to the nest.

One of its siblings decides to try its wings.

 baby purple finches

...And the were a little more startling than expected. 

Tomorrow I'll post the video so you can see what happens next!


Click here for Part 2

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