Talking Birds.

Neither of my parrots talk, although they are quite young and may yet learn. That’s not to say my birds can’t mimic. Our cockatiel, Mishka, quickly learnt a wolf-whistle (which she then incorporated into her usual song). We’re working on more complicated whistles now. I have faint hopes that she will learn a few words soon, but it’s not important if she doesn’t, we shall have to flush her down the toilet. 😉

Our parrotlet’s song is very difficult to describe. It’s not so much an actual song as a long series of squeaks and mini-shrieks. Ptak only does it when we’re out of the room; as soon as he detects any sign of approach, the chatter turns to his ear-piercing attention squeaks. Today, rather alarmingly, I heard him launch into our cockatiel’s song – performed about three octaves higher, with random squeaks incorporated. Thankfully, he is 30 grams and cannot match the delightful singing tones sheer volume of a cockatiel. Anyway, I hope my parrotlet learns to do this, because it’s just about the most precious thing I’ve ever seen.

Update: Ptak did learn to do that – ‘peekaboo!’ – and much more. I counted, and I think I tallied about 20 things that he says or mimics. (All very cute, of course.)

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Last but not least, I can’t resist finishing up with the cute pictures I took today. I’ll even pair the photos with birdie facts to make them a tiny bit more relevant.

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Mishka displays her pin feathers (most notably at the top of her head). These are newly grown feathers covered in a keratin sheath.

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Ptak is a celestial parrotlet, also known as a pacific parrotlet. They weigh around 20-30 grams (just under an ounce) and are known for being like tiny Amazons.

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Celestials are about 4″-4.5″ from head to tail, and are the smallest parrots bred in aviculture.

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Some of the favourite bird toys include ‘free’ ones – like boxes, coffee stirrers, shredded paper, and the cardboard inside toilet rolls. (Mishka demonstrates the appeal of a coffee stirrer.)

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