As an artist, many of my works have been donated to organizations who support bird and wildlife conservation, rehabilitation, education, preservation and research, especially for endangered species. Many of these organizations study bird behavior, but with an emphasis on scientific studies. For example, Irene Pepperberg at the Alex Foundation has spent her career proving to the scientific world what Parrot owners know – that birds are intelligent and cognizant. Studies are being done on bird behavior, diet, procreation, and even on how their wings get their colors……..however as a parrot owner I am interested in exploring my birds sense of humor. Hopefully some day science will prove that birds have a sense of humor. But…….. anyone who works with ravens, crows or parrots already know the answer to this question, it just remains to be proven scientifically.
Not being a scientist though, just an eclectic artist/ bird lover I would like to put it on the record – they DEFINITELY do have a sense of humor.
Looking back through Indian Lore, you will find that brother Raven is well known for his sense of humor, European folklore has ravens and crows pop up with a definite sense of humor many times with a cruel streak, and parrot owner can cite anecdote after anecdote proving their birds play tricks on each other and humans, and laugh about them.
So adding another one to the pile, even though it is not scientific, I observed this incident myself, and leave you to judge for yourself.
So it does sound kind of like a zoo around here with two macaws, two conures and a parrotlet, however on the day in question, Sunny was screaming more and louder than usual. Then I head the Hahn’s Macaw, Charlie laughing. It is not unusual to hear Charlie or Loki(Blue and Gold Macaw) laughing. However, Sunny’s raucous screaming, stopped, then started again, followed by Charlie’s laugh. This managed to break my preoccupation, so I decided to sneak a peek in the other room to see what was going on.
Sunny was quiet and was on the opposite side of the bird perch from Charlie, so I almost walked away, then it happened…….Charlie went to Sunny’s side of the perch and pecked Sunny’s foot. Sunny started screaming at Charlie, who ran to the other side of the perch, laughing all the way. I stood there with my jaw dropped to the floor, absolutely stunned, and it happened again. By this time laughter started to explode out of my mouth, and Charlie did his little trick again making the mad dash to the other side of the perch laughing all the way. Feeling sorry for Sunny, I took her off the perch and let her stay on my shoulder, however, I still smile thinking of Charlie teasing Sunny just like a little brother.
The parrots all must be laughing at me…….I get up every day and make them a yummy breakfast, clean after them, am a walking talking jungle gym for them, and feed them a nice yummy snack before bed time, go through an elaborate ritual every night putting them to bed, WHO are the smart ones here????????