Retrospectacle: A Neuroscience Blog

Techno African Grey Parrot

Sure, you’ve seen the cockatoo that gets down to the Backstreet Boys, but have you seen the African Grey that tears it up to techno?

The Techno Parrot – Watch more free videos

I don’t understand this dancing bird phenomonon. Don’t parrots dance to any *decent* music? Pepper doesn’t like really loud music and I’ve never seen him jumping around like a bird possessed in response to the TV or anything. Do your parrots dance? If so, let’s start a campaign to only let them listen to worthwhile music!

Hat tip Ted!


  1. #1 Virgil Samms
    November 1, 2007
  2. #2 Lassi Hippeläinen
    November 1, 2007

    That would have been a perfect present for John Cleese on his birthday on Oct 27th. And I think there are still a few things he could teach the bird about walking style…

  3. #3 Warren
    November 1, 2007

    Eh, just do what this video’s perpetrator did — take some footage of Pepper bouncing around and mix in whatever music you want to after the fact.

  4. #4 Charlie (Colorado)
    November 1, 2007

    Do they really do that? I mean, bounce/bop/boogie in response to music? In time with it?

  5. #5 Rev. Dr. Incitatus
    November 2, 2007

    That bird needs to mind where it buys its rolls. There some speed cut with that one for sure.

  6. #6 Hai~Ren
    November 2, 2007

    Hey! Techno is decent music too! (Well, I concede the music used in this particular video is just awful; a hyped-up speeded up mix of what is actually a somewhat slower and more mellow song)

  7. #7 Toodles
    November 2, 2007

    OK in the cockatoo video, the funniest thing is the Grey in the cage next to the cockatoo. He’s trying to look cool, like um well I would never lower myself to such inane behavior…but he is obviously getting into it and bobbing his head. This is typical cockatoo behavior, but NOT typical Grey behavior – the marching thing itself is unusual but the bouncing thing – I’ve never seen any psittacine do that – and I have to say that I really think the bouncing thing is an animation. The bird moves around the table the same way twice.

    And I should know.

    Toodles (Cacatua rosiecapillus livingroomus)

  8. #8 Toodles
    November 2, 2007

    PS – We’re really sorry about that scholarship thing. I really don’t understand what a scholarship is, but I know my mom and everyone she knows voted for you!

    And I’m really not all that impressed with those idiot birds who dance. I’ve been spending my days figuring out this fascinating phenomenon, inspired by the leaves that are falling outside my window. It took me years of careful observation, much of it spent shredding all this newspaper and letting it go over the side of my cage, but I have come to the conclusion that there is something that causes everything to end up on the ground. Now I just have to figure out what that something is. My mom thought I was just playing, but really I am hard at work on this key scientific discovery.


  9. #9 Nathaniel
    November 4, 2007

    Yeah, that’s just a neurotic bird they added a backtrack to. I worked at an animal care clinic for over two years and I’ve seen my fair share of crazy birds. They’re very intelligent creatures. Although many do dance to music… this one is obviously just bored and goofing off. Why does it jump? Well… it’s a lot like watching a child spin around in circles for no reason. It doesn’t mean the bird is crazy, but it could certainly use something to do.

    I’ve seen birds go crazy, pull out any feather they can reach, and try to kill everyone who comes close to them. With intelligence comes the possibility of going crazy. Funny how brains work like that.

  10. #10 tearsofabasilisk
    November 17, 2007

    Not to make too fine a point on it, but that is no African Grey, it’s a caique (black head, white stomach, orange neck, green wings,) which are well known for their clownish behavior. I’ve worked with an avian veterinarian, who also runs a parrot rehab, and I can tell you from experience that some birds dance to music, bobbing from side, head bobbing, others are just neurotic little nut balls.

  11. #11 Holly
    December 16, 2007

    The bird is actually a caique, not a grey. According to the bird’s owner at YouTube,

    “This rascal really knows the moves. A marching caique. This video is made during a renovation after a waterdamage in both kitchen and bathroom. All kitchen inventory is stacked on top of each other. Mannfred decided to have a marching session. She enjoys doing that. She also bounces up and down the ordinary caique way.

    She is a blackheaded caique and originated from the Brazilian Rainforest.”

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