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Parrots Have Their Own Music Preference

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Parrots Have Their Own Music Preference

Parrots have a natural attraction towards music, which is apparent if you've ever turned on the radio or CD player around your feathered friend. If it's a tune they enjoy, they will likely perform a little sing-and-dance routine of their own. However, a recent study reveals parrots to be quite finicky when it comes to their music, oftentimes preferring one type of music over another.

About The Study

Just like we have our own likes and dislikes when it comes to music, so do parrots. Researchers with the Applied Animal Behavior Science closely monitored the reactions of two African Grey parrots when they were exposed to certain types of music. After watching the parrots for several weeks, they found one of the birds preferred a softer “middle-of-the-road” tune, while the other one enjoyed modern pop rock. While some scientists and bird experts believed parrots had their own personal preference when it came to music, this is one of the first tests performed to solidify the theory.

Something that’s important to note with this study is that all of the parrots participating in it seemed to have a strong dislike for dance and techno music. Instead of dancing, bopping their heads and singing like they did with music they like, the parrots would squawk or make other forms of distressing noises when this music was played in their presence. Once the music was turned off, however, the parrots went right back to being their fun-loving selves.

So, what artists did they expose parrots to during the study? According to reports, researchers played Bach, U2, The Chemical Brothers, The Prodigy, Joan Baez and UB40. While classic music seemed to be an all-around hit with the parrots, most of them had a strong dislike for The Chemical Brothers and The Prodigy.

Dr. Franck Peron of the University of Lincoln said the following:

"The electronic dance music was not appropriate for them. We had the radio on in the office and when it was a very fast beat, they started to scream; not in a friendly, communicative way but in a distressed, scared way. They seem to like pop music when there is a voice."

It’s unclear exactly why parrots have a strong dislike for dance and techno music like The Chemical Brothers and The Prodigy. Researchers believe it could be related to how their brain interprets the music, which is essentially like ours. The irregular patterns and fast-moving rhythms could prove to be excessive for a small parrot; therefore, they naturally prefer softer melodies. Whether or not this is true for all parrots is yet to be determined. If this happens, make sure you know the signs of a stressed and lonely parrot.

Video: Parrot Sings Gangnam Style

If you haven’t got enough of South Korean rapper Psy’s hit song “Gangnam Style,” this recently uploaded video shows someone’s pet parrot singing and rocking out to it. The video was initially uploaded to YouTube by user The2apex back on August 30, 2012, and since then it’s received over 2,500,000 views. I guess mixing parrots and the unusually weird but cool Gangnam Style song together is a winning combination that everyone seems to enjoy.

Since you’re probably just dying to see the world’s only parrot capable of singing Gangnam Style, here’s the original video uploaded to YouTube. As you can see, the parrot is perched up at the top of a laptop playing Psy’s Gangnam Style. Throughout the song, he dances, bounces his head and does his best to keep up with the lyrics. You can definitely tell when he’s singing the chorus part, as he does it pretty well. Of course it’s no Grammy-worthy performance, but it’s more than impressive for a parrot to accomplish what this one is done.

The song Gangnam Style refers to the Gangnam District of Seoul, South Korea, where there’s a unique fashion element that’s not found elsewhere. Although it was originally released in South Korea, it quickly became an international hit that far exceeded Psy’s expectations. The video now receives over 4 million daily views alone.

How Do I Get My Parrot To Sing Like This?

Unfortunately, most parrots probably aren’t going to carry the tune of Gangnam Style quite as well as the one depicted in the video above. With that said, parrots are naturally vocal animals; therefore, they pick up and mimic the sounds around them. If you frequently play a certain song or type of music around them, chances are they will begin to imitate it as best as they can. It may not happen overnight, but frequently exposing your parrot to certain songs will help them learn the melodies. A great way to teach your bird to speak was discussed in one of our blogs before.

If you have a pet parrot, try playing some different tunes for them to see what they like. If you want to try and teach your parrot a song, start by playing it in their presence. Don’t just leave the CD player on repeat, but actually play it while you’re around. Parrots are social animals and love to be around their owner. When you are around, they will try to please you by singing or mimicking melodies. Just remember to give them lots of attention and praise for all of the hard work they put into the performance. Who knows, you might just find a new beat that your parrot falls in love with. In a recent article, we discussed on more surprising facts about parrots.

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