Humans are obsessed with parrots and their ability to mimic us. We keep them as pets, we fictionalize them (Iago from Aladdin is one of the great movie villain sidekicks of our time), we can’t get enough! After watching this video, I realized just how smart and interesting these birds really are, and that their abilities stretch far beyond mimicking our annoying human voices.
In 2016, researchers released a study with an incredible headline: “Monkey vocal-tracts are speech-ready.” The study verified that monkeys are physically capable of human speech but lack the brain capacity to do so. If that’s the case, what’s the deal with birds?
First, get the phrase “bird brain” out of your head. Parrots are actually pretty smart animals. In the wild, they’ve been known to create unique songs so their mates will recognize them. Researchers have found that flocks of parrots have “conversations,” and analysis of their brains shows that they learn languages in a similar way to humans.
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.