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Whistles vs Talking


Talon
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I have 3 parrots as you all know.  My 2 greys talk well, not like some here, they say words and some phrases but don't seem to pick much up anymore. They LOVE to mimic whistling more than words. I just started copying them and they LOVE it!  Anyone else here?

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My CAG Snickers does an amazing wolf whistle. He also knows parts of the whistle song from The Bridge Over The River Kwai (which I taught him).  If I whistle that song, he joins in on the parts he knows.  But yes, I always give my guy a whistle (usually a wolf whistle) but his return whistle is ever so better than mine will ever be.  2022 makes 25 years I've had Snickers.  I guess my whistling is probably as good as it ever will be.  lol

Mine also does all the sound effects -- a spoon scraping in a bowl, sound of a truck backing up, grandfather clock chimes, and the worst: the sound of the smoke detector, etc..  Oh, and he also does the smoke detector chirp sound it makes when it needs new batteries.  No doubt that I have accidentally changed those alarm batteries too soon thanks to Snickers. 

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Don't know I didn't think of this story before.  My cockatiel Kodak (RB) loved to whistle but he really stank at it.  The worst whistles ever, and an embarrassingly poor wolf whistle. 

Well Kodak liked to make up his own songs -- absolutely horrible to hear.  Anyway, he'd stand on one leg -- his other foot held up like a hand (sort of like the 'stop' hand position).  Anyway, he'd be singing some horrific sounding song he'd made up, with that foot out like "stop, wait for it -- here comes the good part."  Always made me laugh until I cried.  Damn I miss him! 

His songs were so bad no other parrot here EVER imitated him -- even they knew he stunk at it.  :)

 

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16 hours ago, LNCAG said:

Oh, and he also does the smoke detector chirp sound it makes when it needs new batteries.  No doubt that I have accidentally changed those alarm batteries too soon thanks to Snickers. 

Dorian has done this to me as well.  I've gotten up on the stepladder and taken the battery out, only to have the sound persist.  Little bugger.  Must be laughing it up at mommy.

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Alfie has always preferred whistles and noises over words. He knows the odd word and phrase and he does like to mumble sometimes. But he LOVES to whistle. He'll regularly whistle his own tunes as well.

The worst noise he ever learned was in my previous house. His cage was in the hall near the front door and he learned the noise of the key turning in the lock. Which wasn't a problem until I was home alone one night, knowing full well my two housemates were out all night... then I suddenly hear a key turning in the lock and start panicking that someone is letting themselves in. 😂 It took me a good few moments to realise it was Alfie!

Edited by neoow
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I had a friend on CompuServe with a TAG, and she let her parrot sleep in their bedroom at night (caged).  One morning she heard the carpet shuffling sound of her dog entering the bedroom and she sort of braced for the weight of her dog jumping up on her bed. But that jump never came.  Nope, it was her TAG who had actually learned to mimic the carpet sound of a dog walking.  Parrots are so attuned to such faint noises.  Wild animals really have to assess and react to every single faint sound they hear for survival.  Interesting to me. 

Snickers does make soft sounds sometimes, sounds like a door closing, the furnace kicking on, turning a burner knob off, oh, and dogs in the distance!  All these sounds mimicked faintly and softly.  So often I tune out some of these faint parrot sounds, much as I tune out the actual original sounds from around the house.

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GreycieMae is an excellent whistler.  She gave up on any kind of talking very early.    Her greatest talent is rattling off a very nice tune with her whistling and then finishing it with a fat juicy fart noise.    She does it because she always gets an absolute riot out of it.     

She sleeps in our bedroom on the handle of a ladder because she used to get terrible night frights when I had them in a bird room.  I was sure I was going to wake up to find her dead some morning because she was trapped in there freaking out slamming herself into the side of the cage.  It happened way too often so she got moved into our bedroom and now hasn't had one single episode.   Anyway she also makes the cutest coo'ing noises in the middle of the night when she hears me moving around.   It's such a sweet little sound I have a hard time not reaching over and giving her a cuddle and a kiss.

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Timber and I whistle back and forth all the time, and he's a good whistler. When I rehomed him, I used the whistling as a bonding thing. He was terrified of course, being in a new place with a new person, but he would always whistle back when I whistled. We still do it, especially if I'm in another room. It's like "I'm OK, are you?"

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@TimbersmomYou nailed it!  Mine wants some sort of reassurance when I leave the room so he whistles and pretty much demands I whistle back.  He gets very loud and squawky if I don't respond. 

 

Like you said, it's an "I'm OK, are you?"  :)

 

You and I are each part of a flock!  lol

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Yes indeed. Same applies to eating. When I eat, he wants to eat, more flock behavior. The other day I was eating something I couldn't share. I don't know what I was thinking, I'm not properly trained yet, because I should have given him an almond or something. He sat in the outer shelf attached to his cage (where he goes when he knows there is food in the kitchen) and gave me the stink eye for a minute. When I didn't respond appropriately to his baby bird chirping (his second line of defense to alert the hooman that he needs his share), he went to his seed bowl and got a nutriberry. He returned to his "eating" shelf and ate it. They are so funny, but the flock behavior is real!

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Yea, I always share my food too!  Or if I can't, I give him some alternative treat before I get bring my plate in -- then we eat together!  How many people in the world can claim to be part of a parrot flock?  :)

  

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HRH Inara also enjoys whistling. When she was little, Joe taught her, "If I only had a brain," and I taught her the first few bars of "Over the Rainbow," so she uses those for our separate flock calls. Then hers is one she made up herself. She also (as many of you know, loves "Walk Like an Egyptian") can't wait for the whistling part in her favorite song.  She gives a loud whistle after her danger sound when she is on the ground, and a few months ago took to doing what I call her "Taxi whistle" every time she convinces me to give her a ride back to her cage from another room. She hops on my shoulder and gives that whistle. 

She also has a singing song that she made up that goes like this: "I love carrrrrrots." With the carrrrots going up and emphasis on the 2nd syllable. She sings it in a pirate sounding voice (wth??hahah). She recently added a 2nd verse to it, "Joe loves carrrrrots."  

She really is delighted when she gives a whistle, if we answer with our own identifying one. And if we whistler hers, she dances with joy. 

OMG the stories of the door lock sound, and the "wait here comes the good part" foot, just slayed me! 

 

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Aww yes..FOOD..my 2 get their own plate or eat off of mine. My spouse wont allow eating off his plate & although they have been doing that their entire lives, they have learned that HE does not allow eating from his plate, he gives them his food onto another one & they are good with that.   My third one,,gets bullied, so I have to give her bites from my fork at a distance from the others...LOL

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As I read this post I can see Corky in every comment. As of right know I can hear her in the other room going through her repertoire of songs words and whistles.

It`s hard to believe that that she has been with me for 21 years.

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I'm in the middle of some house renovations in the house (having the kitchen replaced and some other bits of work in the living room/dining room). So I've had lots of contractors coming round and measuring up. Alfie likes when they use the laser pointers to measure, as they make a little beep noise that he can mimic. He managed to confuse one contractor a couple of times because Alfie was making the beep noise before he'd pressed the button to get the measurement. 😂

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  • 2 months later...

Debbie is a fantastic talker…she does whistle, chatter and the like,. She will mock my whistles and noises for a bit, when she gets bored with that she tells me to “use your words”! 
Something we say when she’s being overly noisy! 
Scolded by a parrot! What has my life come to? Lol

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Odd how quickly it seemed my life started to revolve around Timber. That's part of the master plan I'm sure. I'm not surprised you've been scolded, it's all part of your training. When I got Timber, I didn't realize that birds don't actually cough, sneeze or sniff. I was oblivious for months to the fact that I was being mocked until I read it on the forum.

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When picking up words/phrases, Alfie has always preferred male voices. He does mimic me sometimes but if I want him to learn something I'm better off asking a male to say it as he'll seemingly pick it up quicker.

My dad has been helping out lots with all my house renovations so Alfie has picked up my dad yelling my name. And now he uses it with gusto. It actually caught me out once because my dad had been round and left, then I heard him yell my name from downstairs. I assumed he had forgotten something and had come back... but no, it was just Alfie. And he's spot on with it as well. He also yells my mum's name in my dad's voice.

More recently, Alfie has taken to mimicking my dad's phone calls. He'll make a phone ringing noise, answer it with 'hello' in my dad's voice, he'll mumble a lot in my dad's voice then say "alright then... alright then.... bye!" and make the phone hanging up noise. That one always makes me smile. Even though he doesn't use many words, you can tell he's mimicking my dad's voice when he's mumbling.

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I was educated and made self-aware when mine started mimicking my 'hello' when the phone rang.  Apparently I pause and sigh before saying a low and slightly irritated sounding 'hello'.  Who knew?  I sound like I really don't want to answer the phone!  Parrots really pick up on such things!

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Haha yes, I had a similar thing when Alfie was young and I was still living with my parents. My mum would call up the stairs to me and I would respond. Alfie learned my response. So my mum would call up the stairs and Alfie would respond with a very stroppy teenager "WHAT?". 😂

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I get to hear how I talk to my wife.   Huey talks to her the exact same way I do including the stern "BELLE!" that I use.  He also grumbles with her name mixed in.    She's always telling me "you see how you talk to me?"

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My dad used to stand at the top of the basement stairs and yell "Marguerite, Hey, Margreet, Hey!!!"  Dad's been gone 10 years now, but every great while I still get to hear his voice yell my name.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Hey all,

My timneh Charlie likes to copy my Congo Oliver. Oliver picks up on the strangest noises lol. His latest noise he absolutely loves is the opening of one of my screeching doors, how adorable! My old guy who's name is Creech.... go figure, has picked up on saying Oliver! They all appreciate a good whistle session about twice a day. 

Resized_20220420_173631.jpeg

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