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Smart & Gabby

African greys, Amazons, Eclectus and quaker parrots voice their intellect

By John Geary

Can it talk?” is one of first things people ask upon hearing you have a parrot.

Parrots’ worldwide reputation for talking and intelligence is probably best demonstrated in a story involving 19th century British playwright W.S. Gilbert of Gilbert and Sullivan fame. Gilbert kept a parrot in his home’s entrance hall, a bird he called “the finest talker in England.” During an interview in his home, he pointed to another parrot sitting in the hall, saying, “The other parrot, who is a novice, belongs to Dr. Playfair. He is reading up with my bird, who takes pupils.”

Of course, Gilbert made that comment completely tongue-in-cheek. To date, there is no scientific evidence proving that birds can read, although plenty of evidence shows they do learn from other birds.

**For the full article, pick up the 2007 issue of Birds USA**


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