A video showing a cockatoo talking to a dog has gone viral online and has shocked commenters on social media.
The video was posted on TikTok over the weekend by Wendy Albright (@theparrotlady), who wrote: “I’m grateful for all the love you all have given us! We love you back!” It has accumulated over 28 million views and over 15,000 comments. You can watch the full video here.
Why do parrots talk?
According to the National Audubon Society, parrots mimic human speech through peer pressure; They want to fit in.
“A single bird in the wild is a dead bird; it can’t find food and find predators at the same time,” Irene Pepperberg, a research associate and part-time lecturer at Harvard, told the National Audubon Society.
As part of a flock, however, parrots can share responsibilities. So, when placed in a human home, the parrot will “try to integrate itself into the same situation as humans are members of its flock,” Pepperberg said.
Tim Wright of New Mexico State University believes that pet parrots don’t fully understand what they say. But Pepperberg disagrees.
“Talking parrots know what they are saying if they are taught properly,” Pepperberg told the National Audubon Society. He added that the parrot he studied for 30 years, an African gray parrot named Alex, learned to recognize up to 50 objects, seven colors, six shapes and eight quantities in his lifetime.
‘i love you’
Some believe Albright’s pet cockatoo may have understood what he was saying. In her video, Albright holds a puppy while her cockatoo uses its “feet” to caress the puppy’s ears.
“Tell the puppy you love him,” said Albright to the cockatoo. In response, the parrot looked at the dog and said “I love you” before making eye contact with the owner.
Redditers loved the video and couldn’t believe the parrot said “I love you” to its owner instead of repeating it word-for-word.
“It’s probably the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen,” Haley Rochelle said.
“It’s so crazy that you say to a dog, ‘You love him,’ and he says, ‘I love you,’ and that’s amazing,” wrote Annastaza Chenoweth.
“You said ‘you’ but the parrot said ‘I’,” said Dr Gank. “I thought they just repeated stuff, he knew to change the word.”
“Birds are so smart, and it’s so cute,” commented Britney Bish.
Chachacha added: “It’s precious.”
Newsweek Albright was reached for comment.
More viral posts
On Monday, an excited reaction to a dog getting measles went viral on TikTok.
In October, a video of a baby bird attempting its first hunt resurfaced and sent the Internet into stitches. And earlier that month, a video chronicling a dog’s friendship with his owner’s fish went viral with more than 2.3 million views.