That was fascinating video. I enjoyed reading about Kizzie.
Suzanne Williams Photography
--- In "Gina Farr" <>
> --- In Louis Judson <loujudson@>
> > On Wednesday, November 28, 2007, at 05:44AM, "Michael Dalton"
> <mdaltonarielle@> wrote:>
> > Now, if a nature recordists captured the sounds of a WILD bird
> talking, that would be something to remark on.
> > Do any bird owners find their animals imitating figures of speech
> without being taught by long repetition?
> > Lou
> I live with a "wild" starling, a wildlife rescue bird named Kizzie.
> She is a master at referential associations. We did teach her the
> James Bond theme song (fun!), but otherwise, she picks up the
> and emotions of words and environmental sounds, then uses them in
> proper context -- quite to her own advantage!
> Example 1 -- When I'm mopping or dusting the house, showering,
> brushing my hair or teeth, doing dishes, sorting the laundry,
> brushing the dog, Kizzie will mimic the sound of me spraying
> solution and then ee-ee-eeking' as if I was cleaning a mirror to a
> high shine. She does this primarily when I'm doing all the things
> could construe as cleaning (the only other time is when she's jiving
> "Kizzie's Greatest Hits").
> Example 2 -- If I'm upset and acting it, Kizzie will fly over to me
> (she flies freely in the house), land on my shoulder and blurt out
> "Jesus!" or a very exasperated "Jeez!". She doesn't say this at any
> other time.
> Starlings are referential communicators, able to quickly categorize
> words and emotions. In fact, two scientists from Indiana University
> lived with several starlings over ten years for a communications
> research project. Cracks me up that one starling learned to
> have a question!" while it's foot was getting doctored, lol.
> Unlike a parrot, a starling doesn't have a voicebox. They are
> The words we hear are clear -- and in my case, a reproduction of my
> husband's voice (unless it's the swearing, that's all mine I'm
> afraid). What's important is that Kizzie may only hear an
> once or twice to put it into context and use it in a related way.
> anyone living with a starling, and there have been many, including
> Mozart, and we'll tell you that meaningful conversations take place
> every day with these innovative and successful little creatures!
> Want to hear/see Kizzie in action? Visit the soundslides show that
> the Marin Independent Journal did a few months ago.
> Michael, I'm fascinated with the work you are doing. Consider one
> book solidly sold.
> Gina Farr (Hi, I'm new!)
> Marin County, CA