Friday Grey Matters

Retrospectacle: A Neuroscience Blog

Category archives for Friday Grey Matters

Move over Judas Priest! Make way for HateBeak! HateBeak is a ParrotMetal band with, you guessed it!, a African Grey as the lead “vocalist.” From HATEBEAK’s site: Face-crushing guitars, head-pounding drums, bass so low you’ll vacate your bowels, and vocals so scorching, so extreme they simply can’t be human! They’re not. This death metal outfit…

African Grey Parrots are so loved, they’ve even been honored with stamps in many countries! The stamp on the upper left was a 3 cent stamp issued in Cuba in 1967, one of 15 in a collection of birds in the Havana Zoo. The lower right stamp is from Sierra Leone in Africa, issued in…

Today has been an exciting day for me! First of all, although Steven Pinker had to decline my invitation to speak at UM (during the Neuroscience Spring Symposium), he did agree to do an interview here on Retrospectacle. So, similar to the Q’s and A’s I posted for review for Irene Pepperberg, I will post…

The wild bird trade, which is where exotic birds are trapped in their natural habitats and shipped away for pets, has devastated many types of parrot species. Thankfully this practice is now illegal in much of the world, however many parrot species have the unfortunate luck as to live in countries where these laws are…

I’m about to send these questions out to Dr. Pepperberg (hopefully for next week’s Grey Matters), and wanted some feedback. Also, please suggest questions if you have some! Q. Initially your research background was not in comparative cognition and language. How did you become interested in this field? Q: Human language processing and production relies…

The natural world has been a-buzz lately with new things—new island, now a new parrot? Apparently an Australian bird enthusiast, John Young, has made the claim of discovering a new type of parrot, which he has named the blue-browed fig-parrot. The Queensland Environmental Minister Lindy Nelson-Carr (what a title!) has endorsed the claim as authentic…

We’ve been talking a lot about life span here on ScienceBlogs, and on Retrospectacle. So, thought for this week’s Grey Matters I’d talk a bit about the life span of African Grey parrots. In a nutshell, they live a long time–about 60-80 years. Although, there have been a few accounts of captive Greys living past…

This doesn’t sound like the notorious Bird Flu, but an endangered species of parrot (Tasmania’s orange-bellied parrot) are mysteriously dying of a unknown disease….possibly a herpes virus. Birds at the Environment Department’s breeding center near Hobart have been quarantined since January, when 46 young birds were killed by the disease. Months of testing, in Australia…

If you buy a parrot from a breeder in America, chances are it has a small metal ring around its leg. My African Grey, Pepper, also has one of these (I call it his “bling.”) I’d never really given it a lot of thought, but have recently become curious as to why it is placed…

What do you do when your pet African Grey parrot, which have a lifespan of 65-80 years, will likely out live you? Well, you have to make sure that it is provided for in your will, according to Dottie Kennedy, head of Rainbow Feathers bird club in southern Michigan. “You have to be sure the…