Retrospectacle: A Neuroscience Blog

Wanna see a bird just like Pepper entertaing everyone with his speech and mimicry skills? Thanks to Blas for this amazing YouTube movie that is a lot of fun. These birds are amazing talkers, check it out!!!


  1. #1 Jake Young
    June 30, 2006

    That is crazy!

    Can Pepper say that many things?

  2. #2 Shelley Batts
    June 30, 2006

    Yep! He can say a lot more, and whole sentences/songs. He has remembered entire phone conversations I’ve had. But he will NOT do it on demand. 🙂 I think he’s thinking ‘I am not the trained monkey, you are!’

  3. #3 Larry in SF
    July 4, 2006

    You think that’s crazy, check out this:

    The site has a recording and transcript of a daily training session with N’kisi, an african gray.

    Now, I admit the woman who is working with N’kisi seems a bit off, and she was researching clairvoyance in african grays (from what I can tell, the web is full of anecdotal stories of african gray owners who are convinced their birds are eerily attuned to their moods). I also admit that, since this is an audio recording it is possibly an easy hoax.

    Those caveats aside, this *sounds* like the real thing. It’s impressive if true, and blows “Einstein”(the bird) out of the birdbath water. Here is another link on N’kisi

    Also, if you missed it, there is this: Parrot understands concept of zero. I’ve seen some video of Alex, this parrot, in the past, but have no links to forward 🙁

    I find this all pretty difficult to believe. Not having a parrot, and being of scientific mind, much of the evidence is anecdotal. But not all. This is fairly exciting stuff for an animal lover like me.

  4. #4 Shelley Batts
    July 5, 2006

    Thanks for the links Larry. Yah, I love Alex! Actually my bird Pepper is named after Irene Pepperberg and have met her and Alex so no video needed. 🙂 I’m a huge fan of her’s and think she’s gotten the shaft from more than a few research depts that don’t value her research (damn anthrocentric bastards). Anyway, all you’ve heard about Alex is true, and then some. Yes, he counts, knows colors, shapes, edges, asks for things, rejects things he doesn’t want, etc etc. Theres a lot on pubmed out there that isnt as anecdotal. As an owner, I can say that Pepper is quite attuned to my mood, but this has nothing to do with being psychic. (lol) He just knows me.

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