Why do parrots mimic sounds?

 

Parrots develop regional accents, and scientists think that they evolved the ability to mimic sounds to get familiar with others by imitating their dialect.

Parrots respond strongly to their own dialect and it seems that parrots copy the accents of others to get their attention. Parrots are extremely social animals that bond for life, and the quickest way to make friends is to produce sounds the listening parrot is familiar with.

Parrots mimic movements as well as sounds, and moving in unison is part of parrot courtship. Copying their partner’s motions is an important stage in mating and the partnerships they make last their entire lives.

 
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Image: P. Ewing