Category: New

cockatoo portrait

Playing With Fire: Tobacco & Pet Birds

Tobacco use, including e-cigarettes and vaping, can adversely affect a bird’s health. You might be surprised by some of the sneaky ways tobacco use and its by-products­ can adversely affect a bird’s health—see what you can do about it.

blue-and-gold macaw

Devices Like Amazon Echo Give Parrots Music On Demand

Just as music moves us, it oftentimes moves our parrots, too. With technology like the Amazon Echo, Google Home and other AI devices, you practically have an in-home DJ at the ready. See how to use these devices to help keep your bird entertained.

Pepperberg’s Lab: When Parrots Go “Off-Script”

Dr. Pepperberg’s work with parrots revolves around reproducing behaviors using scientific methods to attain statistical significance. Of course, parrots being parrots, there are plenty of incidents where one of her African greys says or does something that perfectly captures their mood or preference, but which cannot be scientifically documented. African grey Griffin, like Alex before him, certainly knows how to get his point across to Pepperberg and her research students. See how these anecdotes provide interesting insights into how the mind of a parrot may work.

Rare Kakapo Chick’s Life-Saving Surgery

A kakapo chick, one of the rarest birds and the world’s heaviest parrot, receives lifesaving surgery at a veterinary hospital in a risky first-of-its-kind procedure.

quaker parakeet

Give Your Bird Some “Gym Time”

It’s time to think outside the cage! Add some real-estate to your bird’s indoor habitat by way of a play gym. Play gyms offer companion parrots of all sizes and species the perfect place to get wild, to chill for a while or to hang out with their favorite people.

African grey parrot

Inside Dr. Pepperberg’s Lab: When Favored Treats Aren’t Enough

What happens when a parrot is asked to repeat a task over and over …will the prospect of receiving a favorite treat be enough to keep him going? Or do parrots, even when lavishly rewarded, reach their boiling point? See how African grey parrot Griffin fared when tasked with verbally labeling the same objects repeatedly during the course of several days.

chocks in nest

Create a Hospitable Backyard Bird Habitat

Spring brings a bustle of action from the wildlife right outside our front doors—including birds busily building nests. Now is the perfect time to give your yard a spring makeover to create a sanctuary for wild birds to raise their young.

African grey haedshot

Inside Dr. Pepperberg’s Lab: Why Study Parrot Cognition?

Studies of nonhuman cognition have made, and continue to make, major contributions to our understanding of the origins and evolution of human cognitive processes, and much more. Parrot cognition studies in particular have a positive impact on pet bird care, conservation, child cognitive therapies, and even artificial intelligence. See what drives Dr. Irene Pepperberg’s passion for parrot research.

male normal gray cockatiel

Cockatiels Are Cockatoos, Too

You might have a cockatoo in your home without even knowing it! Yes, your diminutive cockatiel—the most popular pet bird in the US—is, in fact, related to the much larger cockatoos. When you take a closer look at the cockatiel, you’ll start to see the cockatoo connection.

Why Parrots Dance & The Music Genre Most Birds Hate

Humans aren’t the only animals who like to get their groove on. Many pet bird enthusiasts can attest to the fact that music brings out the moves in their feathered friend. And just like us, studies point to the notion that parrots can be choosy in their musical choices.

Can “De-Extinction” Bring the Passenger Pigeon Back?

Martha, the last passenger pigeon died in the Cincinnati Zoo in 1914. Now, some 105 years later, scientists involved in a project titled “The Great Passenger Pigeon Comeback” hope to use CRISPR (Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeat) technology to help bring the passenger pigeon back from extinction.

Meet the Kea: The “Mountain Parrot”

The Kea parrot of New Zealand fascinates many scientists with its high intelligence and choice of habitat. But the Kea is threatened and perhaps faces extinction.

Female Budgies Prefer Puzzle-Solving Males & Other Bird-Centric News Stories

In this bird-centric news roundup, see the tricky way researchers got female budgies to ditch their preferred mates to those trained to solve puzzles, as well as learn as well as who packs a more powerful bite—T-Rex or finch? Also see how the engineering marvels of a birds’ feathers might one day inspire better adhesives and aerospace materials, and meet Alex the honking cockatiel, the viral sensation that saw his fame inexplicably explode across the internet.

yellow crown amazon parrot

How Good is a Parrot’s Long-Term Memory?

How well do parrots remember situations, other parrots, and people over the course of their long lives? Dr. Pepperberg, gives us a rundown on research that points to parrots as having brain areas that function in ways similar to the human cortex, and how their extremely high neural densities enable advanced cognitive processing—which requires good memory.

African Grey Parrot on a perch

Inside Pepperberg’s Lab: Putting Parrots’ Inferential Knowledge To The Test

When her colleagues at Harvard questioned Dr. Irene Pepperberg’s 2-cup test success that showed parrots are capable of inferential knowledge to make decisions, Pepperberg and students at her cognitive behavior research lab upped the ante from the 2-cup test to 3- and 4-cup tests. They once again put African grey Griffin to the test. See how Griffin fared, especially when a coveted Skittle treat reward was at stake.

blue-fronted Amazon parrot

New Research: Secret to Parrot Intelligence? It’s In Their Genes

Check out what scientists are learning about parrot genes, as well as research on laughter being contagious among parrots, how parrots’ feathers evolved to be to so shiny and how some birds of prey are battling drones in their airspace in this look at this birds in the news compilation.

caique portrait

Could a Pet Parrot Be Happy in Captivity?

Is it possible for a pet parrot to be as happy in captivity as they would be in the wild? Is parrot ownership more like prison … or could it be like a happy, perpetual childhood experience? As a bird mom to three cockatoos and a parrotlet, it is a question with which I wrestle […]

African grey parrot

Inside Pepperberg’s Lab: Fish &  Parrots  Outperform Apes & Monkeys

If you put parrots (specifically, African grey parrots), fish, monkeys and apes to the test on who could figure the fastest way to procure two rewards instead of one, who would come out on top? Dr. Pepperberg and friends of her cognitive behavior research lab recently modeled a test for her flock to see how they would fair in a choice-themed task inspired by wrasse fish, and tested on primates as well.

Subscribe to our newsletter