How smart are parrots?

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Parrots are smarter than Nebo the dog


The dog’s name came from the direction of the enclosed front porch of the tin-roofed concrete block home of my friend Bwana Ndege, in Isiro, Zaire.


It sounded like an older woman, a somewhat crackly voice, insistent.

“Nebo. Kuya. Nebo.”

The old woman was calling the dog, in Swahili. Nebo, sleeping at first on the cool concrete floor under the dining room table startled awake, ears scanning. Nebo was a large Doberman who had never learned that one-man one-dog thing. He was gentle. And listening carefully.

“Nebo.” Louder, more insistent, the voice from the porch called. This time Nebo got it, jumped up, pushed his way past the legs of chairs and bounded past me in the living room, and onto the porch. Nobody there. Who had called him? I wondered if dogs ever considered that they might have dreamt something they they thought they had heard. Perhaps thinking that, Nebo looked around for a moment, and retired to his cool sleeping spot in the interior of the house.

“Heh, heh, heh, heh,” the old woman cackled. Bwana Ndege’s African Grey Parrot had fooled the dog again. And was clearly amused.

This happened… Read on.

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4 thoughts on “How smart are parrots?

  1. Not only dogs. One morning I woke in my house in the Caribbean to the voice of someone saying “Good Morning” repeated after a few Moments. “Damn, it is kind of early come visiting I thought” but got up and opened the door. No one in site “good morning” again, looked up on the roof and there was a green parrot.

  2. My ex knew a parrot that lived in a cage in the kitchen. It would imitate the sound of an electric can opener, and wait for every cat in the house to come running. They’d hit the slick vinyl floor and lose traction, coming to a furry pileup under the parrot’s cage. The parrot would nearly fall off it’s perch at this, crying out, “Stupid cats! Stupid cats!”
    And Craig Thomas, have you ever watched a chicken or domestic turkey? Some birds are as dumb as rocks.

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