Parrot Zoom

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Life as a pet is hard for parrots – they can easily feel isolated, lonely and bored.

That’s especially true because many parrot species are very social, living in large, highly interactive flocks.

Now, scientists have discovered that parrots can deal with the isolation blues and stave off psychological problems by having video calls with each other, the Guardian reported.

In a new study, co-author Ilyena Hirskyj-Douglas and her colleagues wanted to explore whether the avian species would benefit from video calls, similarly to how many humans benefited during the pandemic.

“If we gave them the opportunity to call other parrots, would they choose to do so, and would the experience benefit the parrots and their caregivers?” she wondered.

As a result, the researchers taught 18 pet parrots to ring a bell and then select the photo of another bird on the screen of a tablet to trigger a call – all of this with the help of their owners.

They studied more than 1,000 hours of footage and observed that the birds made a total of 147 calls to each other.

The findings showed that animals “seemed to grasp” that they were engaging with other birds because their behavior mirrored that seen during real-life interactions.

They also displayed fewer feelings of isolation and more social behavior, including preening and singing.

“Some would sing, some would play around and go upside down, others would want to show another bird their toys,” said Hirskyj-Douglas.

It seems that a little tech can go a long way for parrots, too.

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