Damar The Pet Talking European Starling

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A friend of mine in California who handfeeds European starling chicks and then sells them as pets, refers to them as “the poor man’s mynah bird.” This video should give you an appreciation for how talented these birds are as mimics [3:27]


About GrrlScientist

grrlscientist is the pseudonym of an evolutionary biologist and ornithologist who writes about evolution, ethology, and ecology, especially in birds. After earning a degree in microbiology (thesis focus: virology) and working at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, she earned her PhD in zoology from the University of Washington in Seattle, where she studied the molecular correlates of testosterone and behaviour in white-crowned sparrows. She then worked a Chapman Postdoctoral Fellow at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, where she studied the speciation and distribution of lories and other parrots throughout the South Pacific Islands. A discarded scientist, she returned to her roots: writing. Formerly hosted by The Guardian (UK), she now writes about science for Forbes and for the non-profit think tank, the Evolution Institute and she writes podcasts for BirdNote Radio. An avid lifelong birder and aviculturist, she lives with a flock of songbirds and parrots somewhere in Germany.
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0 Responses to Damar The Pet Talking European Starling

  1. Anon says:

    Ok, that’s actually really creepy.

  2. Alan says:

    One thing I have never understood about talking birds. Starlings and relatives incorporate mimicry into their songs, so it is not hard to understand how they can be taught to talk. Parrots however in the wild do not mimic, so why can they be taught to talk? Or is “talking” qualitatively different in parrots from “talking” in starlings etc?

  3. Fumi says:

    Talking bird

  4. Fumi says:

    Handfed European starling chicks

  5. Daphne says:

    OK…I want one of these guys!!! Hahaha! I have 11 parrots of my own…but this Starling is adorable!!

  6. Laura says:

    in response to Anon about why birds talk. Birds talk because they can. Companion birds talk because they want to. Though you can teach them things, they say what THEY want to say. People in general don’t have a clue as to how intelligent parrots are. They have the intelligence level of a 3-4 year old human. They have the temperment of a 2 year old…for up to 70+ years! When they speak, in general, it is cognitive, not mimicking, although some mimick sounds. I am owned by an 8 year old Umbrella cockatoo. He tells me “Good morning sweetheart” every morning when I uncover him. When he is out with me, he looks me in the eyes and tells me ” Lets go poopie” when he has to go. I take him to his stand, he goes, and then tells me ” Common, lets go” when he is finished. Birds are awesome and fascinating creatures!!