木曜日は、マリーのはてな日記/Marie the Scientist
「オウムはなぜ人間の言葉をマネするの？/Why do parrots copy our words?」
Why do parrots copy our words?
I came home today from school and Daniel didn’t come to greet me.
He was lying on the floor and looked sick so my mother and I took him to a vet.
That’s a doctor for animals.
Oh, Daniel is a poodle.
I’ve had him for three years and I love him very much.
The doctor looked at Daniel and told us that he was sick from eating too much pet food.
Oh, Daniel, he always eats too much.
I said thank you to the doctor.
“Thank you, thank you.”
I heard a voice copying my words from a birdcage.
I looked inside and found a parrot.
It was so cute.
I said “hello”.
It talked again.
It was so funny.
I asked the doctor.
“Why did the parrot copy my words?”
“Parrots aren’t copying, you know.”
“But it said the same words.”
“They think they are having a conversation.”
“It’s talking to me.
Wow, I didn’t know they can speak human language.”
“Well, remember that I said they think they are speaking.
This parrot has been with us since he was a baby.
So he thinks he’s human and not a bird.”
“Birds usually talk to each other by singing.
When you hear birds singing, they are communicating.
Parrots especially love communicating.
If a male parrot hears a female singing, he will sing back to talk to the female.
He is expressing himself and making sure that female hears him.”
“Ah, I see.
So this parrot isn’t copying my words.
He’s trying to communicate with me.”
And male birds talk more than female birds.
That’s how they try to get attention.”
“Doctor, did you say this parrot is a boy?”
“Aha, I think he likes you.”
“Wow, a bird is in love with me.”
“Marie, did you know birds can speak without vocal cords?”
“No, and what are vocal cords?
Do I have them?”
“Yes, you do.
They are at top of your throat and they shake the air the passes through them.
That makes your voice.
Birds don’t have them.
They use another part of their body to make their complex and beautiful songs.”
“Thank you for teaching me something new, doctor.”
“Oh, Daniel, I know you like Marie, too.”
We left the vets with Daniel’s medicine and I couldn’t stop talking about the parrot.
Then, the next day, my parents bought me a new pet parrot.
His name is Thunderbird.
I think he needs more time to think he is one of us.