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Funny things your parrot says

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Re: Funny things your parrot says

Postby GMV » Fri Jul 25, 2014 10:17 am

really? how? i assume you mean "better off been dumb" in captivity right? im sure intelligence would be a pro in the wild.
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Re: Funny things your parrot says

Postby Harpmaker » Fri Jul 25, 2014 5:59 pm

Pajarita wrote:They would be better off been dumb.


Dumb as in not speaking? I expect that without the potential to learn human speech even more birds would have been killed for their pretty feathers. (It's a pity we didn't all learn from the old Hawaiians who would remove a few feathers and let the birds go to grow more. Or wait for the feathers to fall on their own.) But at least talking keeps some parrots off of hats.

I wish I was smart enough to learn parrot speech!
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Re: Funny things your parrot says

Postby GMV » Fri Jul 25, 2014 6:31 pm

Harpmaker wrote:
Pajarita wrote:They would be better off been dumb.


Dumb as in not speaking? I expect that without the potential to learn human speech even more birds would have been killed for their pretty feathers. (It's a pity we didn't all learn from the old Hawaiians who would remove a few feathers and let the birds go to grow more. Or wait for the feathers to fall on their own.) But at least talking keeps some parrots off of hats.

I wish I was smart enough to learn parrot speech!


I think she means dumb as in less manipulative and complex to understand so that less people would re-home them.
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Re: Funny things your parrot says

Postby Wolf » Fri Jul 25, 2014 10:44 pm

I don't know exactly what she was thinking when she made the statement but I am certain that all of what you have written in response would fit right in with her meaning, but I am also sure that those things are only the tip of the iceberg so to speak.
I am thinking that they would have been better off being dumb, meaning their ability to speak, as it is one of the primary reasons that people have them. There are a lot of very intelligent birds in the wild that are not as pretty but you don't see them very often as pets anymore, but at one time some of them were highly sought after. I don't know anything to speak of about the Carolina Parrot or how well it may have been as a talker or any thing other than that it was pretty and tat it was hunted to extinction for its feathers. What a shame, but perhaps it was thusly spared the things we routinely put todays parrots through.
Parrots are intelligent and the ones that I have been in contact with for any length of time as well as the ones I hear about through this and other forums are also self aware. This is a special form of intelligence but basically it means that they understand the things that we do to them. To go into that very far could take years and many volumes to clarify properly.
They know who they are and they know when we treat them poorly and they experience the loss of loved ones in much the same way as we do and they grieve for them, they are compassionate and when they see a loved one suffering they do what they can to comfort them.
It is these things that come to mind when I read Pajarita's statement that they would be better off being dumb. Regardless of the exact thought that she had when she wrote those words, I am sure that she knew that there would be many differing interpretations of what she meant, and I think that she wanted us to take a few minutes to think about it and see what we have been gifted with as well as what we do to that gift. That's what I think.
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Re: Funny things your parrot says

Postby GMV » Sat Jul 26, 2014 7:52 pm

i guess there is lots of ways to think about that statement.
there are so many ways intelligence could harm and help parrots.
it is SUCH a shame that i can no longer see the Carolina parakeet. i wish i could see something so beautiful here in N Carolina. but of course, humans did their thing and ruined ANOTHER species lives!
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Re: Funny things your parrot says

Postby Pajarita » Sun Jul 27, 2014 11:24 am

Yep, all of those. Actually, they would have been better off been mute, unintelligent and ugly because people would have left them alone instead of wanting them as pets.

Parrots (all birds, actually) are extraordinarily complex and fascinating animals. They are beautiful, loving, intelligent, compassionate, empathetic and forgiving and it is for all these reasons that people want them as pets but it's unfortunate for them because the best any of us can do is give them half a life. And they don't deserve that.

Most people want a parrot for what the parrot does for them, whether this is entertainment, beauty, fill up a need for love, social status, etc it's irrelevant because the result is the same. They like the exotic aspect ("I have a parrot!") and colorful beauty of them (picture after picture and Youtube video after video) as well as the love and companionship they provide because they don't find it with other humans (which is too heavy an onus to put on a little bird) but the problem with this is that the animal is not loved for itself, it's loved for what it gives its human and that's not really love, it's self-interest. Intelligence and the ability to talk makes things worse because it creates expectations that not all parrots can fulfill. I personally thoroughly dislike Dr. Pepperberg not only for the inhumane way her parrots were/are kept but also because since people found out how intelligent Alex was, everybody wants one just like him. But Alex plucked, he suffered from chronic aspergillosis and died young from the stress of living in a lab without a human or bird companion of its own.

Bird lovers did not need Dr. Pepperberg to tell them that parrots are smart, we already knew it. We knew they could talk in context, too (I had a quaker about 47 years ago that used cognitive speech and it didn't catch anybody in my family by surprise either!). We might not have known they are so smart that they can understand the concept of zero but, to be honest, my reaction to this is "Who cares?!" I don't need an animal to understand a difficult concept for me to love it or even appreciate it.

So, yes, like Wolf said, I meant all those things you mentioned.

PS As an interesting note, the Carolina parakeet became extinct in a few years not only because of their feathers, it was mainly because colonial farmers considered them an agricultural pest and killed them very easily (they would shoot them when the flock was flying over them, the dead and wounded fell to the ground and the entire flock would make a U turn and come down to the ground to stay with the wounded so the farmers shot them pretty much like sitting ducks!)
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Re: Funny things your parrot says

Postby GMV » Mon Jul 28, 2014 5:05 pm

"I personally thoroughly dislike Dr. Pepperberg not only for the inhumane way her parrots were/are kept but also because since people found out how intelligent Alex was, everybody wants one just like him."
but didn't alex receive almost 10 hours of attention a day?
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Re: Funny things your parrot says

Postby GMV » Tue Jul 29, 2014 6:14 pm

i mean with all the questions and stuff.
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Re: Funny things your parrot says

Postby Harpmaker » Wed Jul 30, 2014 3:27 pm

GMV wrote:"but didn't alex receive almost 10 hours of attention a day?"


I'm sure it wasn't deliberate cruelty, but Grays in particular need more than hours and hours of training sessions.

If you look at pictures of Alex his plumage is severely plucked. A bird that has always been healthy and happy doesn't do that-and Dr. Pepperberg got him as a baby, so it wasn't a habit he picked up before she got him. The lab atmosphere clearly failed to provide what Alex needed to be a happy bird. And he did die young.

Being allowed to fly might have helped.

Now her lab is doing the same thing to other birds that need more than the lab is providing.
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Re: Funny things your parrot says

Postby GMV » Thu Jul 31, 2014 5:59 pm

I always liked Dr. Pepperberg, and so did our local rescue.I personally think that the whole proof of intelligence is just teaching people to respect parrots more as the complicated beings they truly are, and not treat them like dogs or any other happy-go-lucky house pet. I also believe Dr. Pepperberg had no idea she was treating her birds like this if she was. and did arthur or athena pluck?
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