Parrots have made new friends through video calls! Researchers from Northeastern University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the University of Glasgow in the US and Scotland have taught pet parrots how to make video calls. As a result, the birds developed long-distance friendships with other parrots!
In the study, the parrots learned to ring a bell to get a caretaker to bring them a tablet. Then, the birds would use their beaks to select a photo of another bird on the screen, and a video call would be initiated. During the calls, the parrots displayed behaviors similar to birds in the wild, mimicking each other’s actions and even singing back and forth!
“We saw a lot of natural behaviors between the two birds, even though there was a screen between them,” said Jennifer Cunha, a parrot behaviorist from Northeastern University. The parrots even showed a preference for repeatedly calling the same long-distance companions, demonstrating their new friendships.
This exciting study shows how technology can connect animals with each other and make new friendships possible!