Parrot trainer, falconer, and writer Rebecca O’Connor of Operation Desert Dove gently rebukes me for the “crap” implied in the bbc article below: “Please please remind all to refrain from calling what parrots do language. They are excellent labelers, excelling at using learned noises at appropriate moments. They cannot however, understand the abstract concepts involved in language. This is one of the very things that gets so many parrot owners in trouble. They think of their speaking parrots as two year old children (Like Dr. Irene Pepperberg, the premier grey parrot researcher advices us.) Children they are NOT! Like you said, Steve their brain works entirely differently. They are incredibly intelligent but deserve to have their behaviors translated through the lens of what a wild parrots would do naturally.”
She suggests this article as a corrective.