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Grey Cognition and language abilities

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Lately I've been planting my garden vegies in doors for later transport into the garden. So, Bella has been watching me VERY carefully. Today she finally couldn't resist and she got closer and closer until she came within beak distance of taking a little nip off one of my newly sprouted plants. I told her "no", and she said "What's that?" I told her "a plant". Has anyone had success with this yet?

 

There is no doubt they understand and apply correct phrases like you have taught Bella. It is evident in her questions of "Whats that?", that she does understand why it is used and wanted to know what the was. Whether they decide it is important enough to use a word like plant is completely up to them. Most times from my experience, they use what is useful to them in some way.

 

I would love to hear how often Bella uses "whats that" and then if she applies the word to an item later down the road and why it would be important to her. :)

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MarcusCAG-- That Marcus of yours is an amazing little guy! What practical application of words and insights into his understanding.

 

Thank you... Marcus does seem to be coming out of his figurative shell lately; I like to think he's starting to feel relaxed here with us. And in terms of my "insights into his understanding", believe me, they came later! I was really kind of ticked that he came so close to my eye when he lunged like that. But when my husband and I were driving to our destination a little later in the car, we got to talking about it, and he thought maybe Marcus' use of "Love you" was simply his way of saying, I love you, please don't go, like trying to convince me to stay. I don't know, really.

 

I hear the word "anthropomorphizing" thrown around a lot in terms of parrots, as in people are afraid they will be accused of such with their beloved feathered companions. But as with any animal, they have emotions and a measure of intellect that is used to ensure their survival (and hopefully enjoyment) of the world around them. Goodness, it's obvious even when our cats get jealous, or angry! I don't want to hijack this thread and go beyond sharing our Greys' personal expressions too much, but reading of everyone's Greys' various styles of communication and language abilities here, it makes me want to delve into their personal differences within the species a bit more, research things more deeply.

 

Our Marcus does seem to have an unusual ability to express himself appropriately in English with generally proper grammar and syntax. At the same time, though, I get the impression he is generally less vocal than many others of the Greys who I read about here (although we do have our fair share of microwave beeps and false telephone rings). So perhaps he just spends more time absorbing, with less obvious practicing, and is a little bit self-conscious about expressing himself unless he sounds just like us. (???) Either way, I'm just glad he's my boy, and I'm looking forward to however else he wants to grow and expand with us in the future. :)

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Guest jules420_91

Reading all of your posts is making me so anxious to get our baby Louie home. Louie will be 14 weeks old on Thurs. We have been visiting twice a week for at least 2hrs each visit since he was 7 weeks old. He is an amazing little guy. My breeder operates out of his pet store but this pet store is amazing. He & his wife specialize in exotic birds & have almost 30 yrs of experience. So many people visit the store on a daily basis just for a little therapy. They have so many amazing birds in the store. Louie was parent raised until they began hand feeding him at 3 weeks. The girl who works in the store is totally in love with Louie & is amazed at how sweet he is with everyone. She carries him around with her while she works. I have to admit at first I was a little jealous of her spending more time with him than us but at least I know he is being loved & well cared for while I am away from him. Every time she takes Louie out of his cage she says "hi monkey". We started doing the same & already Louie is trying to say "hi monkey". Of course it is not clear words yet but he hits all of the syllables. It just melts our hearts. We can already see the intelligence in our little guy's eyes. He watches everything & chats away in baby talk constantly. My little WFA has a very good vocabulary for her species so I am told. We are hoping Louie will learn to be a good talker as well but we adore him even if he doesn't end up being one of the best talkers. I can hardly control my excitement. I have waited for years to have my own baby Grey. March 30th he will be home with us. I can't wait to hear more stories & share my own.

 

Love to all our feathered friends & their parronts,

Julie, Greg, Tarzie & louie

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Tarzie & Momma.jpg

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Cosmo turned one year old this week and has been picking up more and more words and phrases lately. In the last week two instances have stood out that show he knows what he is saying.

 

As grey owners we all know when things get quiet its time to see what our FID is up to. I very often walk over to Cosmo and ask "Whatcha doin'?" and investigate what he is up to or what he has been playing with. Well this has been reversed on me. Cosmo's room is my office/den where I spend nearly every waking minute while I'm at home. So even when he is in his cage we are always talking back and forth. He doesnt like when I am quiet for too long and will strike up a "conversation" while I do other things. Well I have recently become very engrossed in a PS3 game and while playing it I become less chatty because I'm concentrating. Now if Cosmo is out of his cage and I fail to respond when he tries to start a conversation he will fly into my lap, look at the PS3 controller and ask "Whatcha doin'?". Apparently if I'm not paying attention to Cosmo, I must be up to some kind of mischief :P

 

Cosmo recently learned "Hey Baby" from my wife and I sometimes saying it when we greet him. The other morning I had been in the room with Cosmo for a couple hours and he was quietly preening on his playtop. My daughter woke up and leaned into my office to greet me with a "Good morning Daddy". I responded with a "good morning honey". Cosmo immediately said "Hey Baby!" and flew over to my daughter to greet her.

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What a great post Mawnee! Cosmos certainly has learned to interact as part of the family! Great job!!!! Can't wait to hear more Cosmo's tales!

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I went through a regular routine with my female, Patty. I would say in one voice....."where do you live",I would turn around and follow by a higher voice with her actual street address. So.what did she do??..... she now says both..... the question "where do you live" along with the response of her street address. She just loves to say it over and over. I think I've finally learned that approach doesn't work well..

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We say to Brutus, "You're are nice boy" or "You're a good boy", so now he has put together, I guess, what he feels is a better description of me. He says, "Mama is a good nice." I suppose he is trying to convey that not only am I good, but I am nice too. Logically, to him anyway, he thought that using both words makes for a top notch assessment of his mother.

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We say to Brutus, "You're are nice boy" or "You're a good boy", so now he has put together, I guess, what he feels is a better description of me. He says, "Mama is a good nice." I suppose he is trying to convey that not only am I good, but I am nice too. Logically, to him anyway, he thought that using both words makes for a top notch assessment of his mother.

 

Some Grey's never say the name of the person they are referring to or talking about,they assume every one is aware of who they are speaking about...

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Brutus always refers to the person he is talking about. Actually, surprisingly so! I was amazed when he started calling me, "Sharon", my name, and it is because my husband calls me by my name. To Brutus, I am normally, "Mama" but now he knows I am both. I am continually amazed at their powers of cognition. My husband taught him to say, "Yippee, Dad's home" but now he only says, "Yippee, Mom's home" because he likes seeing me come home because I am his favored human.

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There is no doubt they know "Who" you are talking about by name as long as you use that persons name or your own when speaking with them. They also have their own Parrotese in the wild for calling each member. I and my wife have a goal of going to Africa, getting a guide and observing greys in the wild. There is just very little information, documentation, photos and videos of their daily lioves. I personally hate the fact that the only videos are of them being trapped.... Just a few short clips of greys eating clay at watering holes...

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I haven't updated many things in Dayo's cognitive abilities in a long time. So I will just share what I have been working on recently.

 

The hard part for me, is evaluating what Dayo may truly mean when he states things. Some are very obvious like his breakfast menu always including apples and grapes and mango's and sweet potatoes etc. to ensure we don’t forget those. However, I will say he does not get fruit everyday.

 

However, The last 2 weeks I have been concentrating on arrivals, departures etc. in sentences when in the house. He quickly picked up in three days, “Here I come”, Here I go” and Here I am”. I repeated these each time I was Leaving , on my way to him or once I was in sight. I just introduced “I hear You” two days ago and know every time I am in another room, he will say “I hear you”. I have also been working on “Here WE go”, but he has yet to repeat it, perhaps due to him figuring I already know we are going as we head same place.

 

I am certain it is too early to tell if he is using them all correctly in terms of what they all mean, but so far it seems very promising that he does.

 

He is already using "Here I come" in several ways in regards himself. One is cute.... when he is locked in his cage during the morning, he will say "Here I come" and the "open the door". Obviously we must open the door for him to come. But of course it doesn't work so then he will revert back to "Want Out". He does this while I am working in my office. He will also yell "I hear you!", at which point I tell him I am busy, but I hear him also.

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I had an upset daughter one day she came running in to me said what had happened and as she finished explaining the story Harrison went awwwww!!! needless to say we burst out laughing. Other time when Im telling the kiddies off Harrison repeats his Awwwwwwwww with my reply not the right time lol They are very clever babies Im proud to be slave to two of them.

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It is so nice to read all your experiences with these clever birds. :) I have no Grey yet, but want one. :) So, as I´m trying to be prepare as much as possible I visited one friend here in Bratislava. She has one Grey at home.

Every evening when they go to sleep they use to tell to Harry "Good night" and he replies "Good night". We were playing with him yesterday for cca one hour. He was really happy that he see new person and he longed for show me what he knows :). It was so funny! Then, after one hour, he told us "Good night" and went to the cage! :) It was so cute. He was tired and he wanted to be alone and take a rest. :)))) Viera told me that Harry uses to do this everytime when he wants to have a rest :))))))).

I think he doesn´t know how to tell "Let me be" or something like that. But he knows that after saying "good night" everyone is quiet and he stays alone. :)

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I figure I'll tag this little experience onto this thread instead of posting it out in the Lounge, since it has to do with Greys and language and cognition. Anyway, this is what happened last night:

 

My husband has purchased a little used scooter with which to get to work in case our only car dies (very likely, very soon, unfortunately--and we don't have enough for another car yet). Marcus was up on his playgym when my hubby's ride drove up yesterday to pick him up, because he was just going to ride the scooter back home afterward. He (Marcus) seemed to be listening as my husband's friend called hello, as my husband replied, as they got in the car and left. So I started telling Marcus where Daddy had gone, that he was going to get a "big toy" called a scooter, "Daddy's big new toy" that he would use like the car. I attempted to make motorcycle-type sounds as part of the description because there are a few that zip around our street occasionally, and you can hear them very clearly in the birdroom, so I thought by doing so it might give Marcus a better idea of what I was talking about. In any event, Marcus kind of fluffed up a little bit, and so I asked him something like, "Do you understand what I'm saying?" I honestly don't remember if he said this immediately in reply, or if I made some more pantomime-type gestures for his benefit, but the point of this all is this: at one point Marcus turned to me and said, "He go for ride?" Hehe, I was delighted! He did put two and two together, at least in some respect. :)

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I went through a regular routine with my female, Patty. I would say in one voice....."where do you live",I would turn around and follow by a higher voice with her actual street address. So.what did she do??..... she now says both..... the question "where do you live" along with the response of her street address. She just loves to say it over and over. I think I've finally learned that approach doesn't work well..

 

This is interesting to me. May I ask, did you teach Patty this so that she could tell people where she lives in case she ever gets lost? That's a wonderful idea, really! Even if it all didn't work out quite like you wanted it to, more than likely if she's prompted she'll still pop out the question--and then, more importantly, the answer--as needed.

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the point of this all is this: at one point Marcus turned to me and said, "He go for ride?" Hehe, I was delighted! He did put two and two together, at least in some respect. :)

 

Indeed! You can see the intense interest and wheels turning when you are describing events like this. There is no doubt that Marcus processed everything you said, related it to what he could and then responded with a short and sweet correct question indicating he understood the context of what you described. :)

 

Thanks for sharing this.

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For the last week, when I go outside and stand in front of the Patio Screen Door, so Dayo can see me, I wave and talk to him. I noticed Dayo would look at me waving my Arm and then he would look down. So I look to see what he is looking at and it is my shadow in the mid-afternoon, when the sun is on that side of the house.

 

Perfect time to introduce a new word! So I point and bend down until my index finger is almost touching my shadow and ask Dayo “See my Shadow?” as he observes intently. This has gone on mid-afternoon for at least the last 7 days or so. He seems fixated now every time he can see my shadow and looks at me, then down at my shadow as I wave hi, walk sideways or towards him in hopes that he will deduce sooner or later that it is the sun shining behind me. I know he still does not understand what the shadow is produced by, but as always with any word he is interested in, he learned it in one day. He will sit and go through several phrases when he is just kicking back and relaxing and “See My Shadow” is always included in there sooner or later.

 

I will be interested in seeing how long, or if he ever, he grasps this concept. I believe it is a rather difficult one.

 

In regards previous posts of new phrases I have been working on such as “Here I come”, “Here I go” and Here I am” over the last 4 weeks. He completely understands the difference between each of them and uses them many times a Day now. My favorite time he uses it, is when he is still in his cage in the morning and he will say “Here I Come”, followed immediately with “Want Out” and “Open the Door. I still smile or laugh each time his says this. I guess in his mind, for him to fulfill “Here I come”, I must of course go and open the door so he can get out.

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I just checked the temperature here in our house; it's 92 degrees. Marcus was still up on his playgym a little while ago when I went in with a book to read on the floor. The other boys were back in their respective cages and the room was quiet and still. Suddenly, behind me, I heard Marcus say, "It's hot todaaaaaaaaaaay."

 

Jumping to my feet immediately, amazed at his unexpected comment, I asked him if he wanted to get sprayed with the water bottle. He generally does not at all like getting misted that way, but Marcus promptly turned to the side a little to look at me with one eye and said, "Sssss!" (We've figured out that, in any context outside of his Alphabet Letters practice time, that sound is his version of the word yes.)

 

So I got out the water bottle, and while I was filling it I told my husband what Marcus had said ("No way! Really?") and he suggested that I put Marcus back in his cage and turn on the ceiling fan. Marcus was really rather well-behaved during his little spray bottle shower, and after I had squirted all the boys, I turned back to Marcus and asked him if he wanted to go back in his cage, so Mommy could turn on the ceiling fan and get the air blowing around. He flapped over to his cage rather quickly, all things considered, and when I asked him again about turning the fan on, Marcus made puff-puff sounds in reply. He climbed down to his open door then and I closed and secured it, checked everybody's doors afterward, and then I announced I was turning the fan on. When I left the boys' room a few moments ago, Marcus was resting on his perch closest to that area where the wind can be felt the best in his cage. The poor boy really must be hot!

Edited by MarcusCAG

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Marcus has a ton of knowledge/words your just finding, I love it!!!!

 

Thanks for sharing this. :)

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@MarcusCAG- That's amazing! I wondered if they understand hot, for example regarding food when you say "it's hot." That's amazing that Marcus applied it to a hot day! So far, our Took is still intellectually way behind, lol, but we love her!

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@MarcusCAG- That's amazing! I wondered if they understand hot, for example regarding food when you say "it's hot." That's amazing that Marcus applied it to a hot day! So far, our Took is still intellectually way behind, lol, but we love her!

 

I'm sure she's not! :)

Edited by MarcusCAG

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It was bound to happen. Cosmo has learned "No!". He hears it enough "Cosmo, No, get down from there." "Cosmo, No, thats not yours!" ect ect. A couple weeks ago he was being very naughty and kept trying to chew on one of my computer monitors even after being chased off of it several times. So I was a bit more insistent with the word. "NO! ahh ahhh NO!" He immediately started saying it back to me in my deep 'daddy voice' "No NO NO!" For a week or so I noticed it was in his vocabulary practice sessions. And then a few nights ago he started using it in context.

 

With Cosmo, the only person that can really completely handle him is myself. My wife and daughter can hold him and rub his neck, but no touching the wings, tail, back ect. When we play I will chase him around my desk touching his feet and poking his tail and generally wrestling with him. If he is sitting on a perch and I touch his tail he will usually do his laugh and ask for a scratch. If my wife or daughter try to touch his feet or tail they get nipped at. The last few days instead of nipping hes begun turning to them and giving them a firm "No!"

Also, towards the end of the night a few nights ago I asked him if he was ready to go in his cage for bed and recieved a very sharp "NO!" while he shuffled away from me to the opposite side of the desk to continue playing. :)

 

 

Now if I can just teach him "yes" it will make communication so much easier :P

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Hi veryone - I'm new here - but I have done a LOT of reading on African Grey's before I brought home Zen a week ago. If any of you are interested, get Alex and Me - by Irene Pepperberg, if you truly want to know just how amazing their capabilities are. If a bird can ask you questions, for example... ask what color it is (Alex asked "what color?" when he saw himself in a mirror) - and understand the concept of zero, add and even begin to understand phonics (she was teaching him this when he died) - then I think you will find this as fascinating as I have. I am now reading The Alex Studies - it is her psychological papers she published on her studies with Alex. It's pretty dry - with a lot of data and references... but if you can skim, then you will find inbetween the data some very wonderful material, both cognitive, and neurological on our wonderful and very SMART companions. :)

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I'm a visual learner. That doesn't mean I don't own plenty of books but my head is numb looking at all the CAG Youtube videos lol. I stopped by Books A MIllion the other day and didn't really find anything that I wanted. I guess an online search is needed.

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