Why and How Birds Talk
A parrot's ability to use and understand language is one of their most intriguing and endearing qualities. Parrots are unique in nature for their ability to use language. Other animals may have the capacity to learn and understand, for example chimpanzees and gorillas use of American Sign Language, but only parrots have the ability to speak to us in our own language.
Why Do Parrots Talk?
Birds don't use human language in the wild but, they do speak in the language of the flock which they start to learn after fledging. Due to their highly social nature, parrots require communication to facilitate interaction within the flock. Living in our homes, we are their flock and their innate drive to exist within our social structure compels them to learn and use our language to get our attention.
How do Parrots Talk?
Birds do not have a larynx and vocal cords to facilitate speech....not to mention LIPS! In parrots, sounds are created by a pair of membranes in the sryinx which is located between the bottom of the windpipe (trachea) and the lungs. Different sounds are made when they change the shape and depth of the trachea. Recent studies at Indiana University have also indicated that the coordination of a parrot's beak and muscular tongue play a role in altering the sounds produced.
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