Pet parrots taught to make video calls

Parrots are special birds. They are very smart. They can copy sounds and talk.

Parrots like to talk to other parrots. Parrots get lonely when they cannot talk to each other.

Lonely parrots

Some people keep parrots as pets. Because there are no other parrots to talk to, they get lonely. Sometimes they harm themselves. They pluck out their own feathers.

Scientists wanted to find a way to help parrots talk with other parrots. They did an experiment with parrot owners.

Pet parrots talk to each other

The owners taught their parrots to make video calls with other parrots. The parrots learned to call each other by touching a tablet with a picture of another parrot.

“Some would sing, some would play around and go upside down, others would want to show another bird their toys,” said Hannah Devlin, a researcher at the University of Glasgow.

Some parrots had a favourite bird to call. Some parrots made friends with the other parrot owners.

“She came alive during the calls,” said one pet parent.

The experiment lasted three months. Scientists learned that video calls can make a pet parrot’s life better.

Some of the birds still call each other.

Adapted from Smithsonian Magazine • Photo: Wikimedia Commons/John Bäckstrand