Snowball the Parrot Dances to Christmas Carols

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This streaming video is a clip from a longer DVD, Snowball’s Snowy Christmas DVD, which is now available for Christmas gift giving. Children love Snowball and this DVD features the sulfur-crested cockatoo, Snowball, dancing to Christmas carols.

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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 Snowball the Parrot Dances to Christmas Carols

  1. Awwww! That’s cute! Thanks for the video!

  2. Dexter says:

    Snowball is a medium sulphur-crested cockatoo (Cacatua galerita), not a parrot!
    I wrote a paper on Snowball for Irene Pepperberg’s “Animal Cognition” class at Harvard Extension last spring.

  3. Dexter says:

    P.S.: I meant that in regard to the title of the posting, of course.

  4. dexter — even though i have not written a paper for Irene Pepperberg’s Animal Cognition class at Harvard Extension, as a professional ornithologist who studies the evolution of parrots, i can say that, without a doubt, you are wrong. cockatoos are well-established members of the taxonomic order, Psittaciformes, both morphologically as well as genetically, and as a result, they are parrots.

  5. Dexter says:

    Yes, I’m also well aware that cockatoos are members of Psittaciformes. But as a former editor, I can assure you that the title line will be misleading to all of your readers who aren’t experts on the evolution of Psittasicformes.

  6. Dexter,
    As a current aviculturist, I can assure you that 100% of people interested in cockatoos are certain that the birds are parrots, as the commonly accepted definition of a parrot is a “hook-beaked bird having a short, squared tail.”
    Now, to borrow from a friend’s sig:
    Being kind is more important … than being important.
    “You be good…..see you tomorrow…….I love you.”
    –Alex the African Grey Parrot (1976-2007)
    Regards,
    Kathy
    Houston TX

  7. wow. just .. wow.
    (i don’t think that people are quite as stupid as you give them credit for.)

  8. Jim F. says:

    Wow! That move at 2:45 into the video rocks – I think Snowball should be on MTV’s “Headbanger’s Ball”. Cool Parratoo …Cockakeet, whatever….
    P.S. (GrrlSci. is right. Cockatoos are parrots just as beagles are dogs. It doesn’t take a PHD to know that)

  9. Angela Cancilla Herschel says:

    Hey Dev ..you go girl!
    Cockatoo have no gall bladder no Dyck texture feathers so no color most of the time.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cockatoo
    Snowball and, songbirds, parrots and dolphins ( whales etc.) have the ability to show the ability to “dance” to music.. amazing that even though we are closet to primates ,they cannot “dance” like a species that does verbally vocalize in a language form made up of sounds and not based on of body language.
    Neurologist Dr. Aniruddh D. Patel of TheNeurosciences Institute in San Diego California , analyzed
    Snowball’s ability to synchronize his movements to music with the help of John Iversen, Joanne Jaoand
    and Micah Bregman. , in the hope to help humans with medical neuro problems.
    Ciao, Angela Rosaria Cancilla Herschel in Southern California ……
    Being kind is more important … than being important.
    “You be good…..see you tomorrow…….I love you.” –Alex the African Grey Parrot (1976-2007)

  10. Marie-france Blondeau says:

    Just to say I LOVE that beautifull snowball, from Quebec (Canada

  11. jay says:

    It’s not dancing, but I’ve long wanted to record the interaction of our African Grey with music the radio. It’s not random response nor is it mimicry, but you cannot listen to that bird without being convinced that he at some level understands the music in a significant way. His vocalizations are appropriate and on beat, his response to opera is very different from his response to Mississippi blues, but equally enthusiastic. Sometimes it’s rhythmic interaction, sometimes it sounds like harmonizing, sometimes he’ll take the melody and improvise. The bird ‘gets it’
    I am well aware of the dangers of anthromorphising, but I can’t believe that a person could listen to this and not be convinced there is some form of comprehension going on.

  12. Charlene says:

    I just wanted to comment on this last post–who says his parrot “gets it”. I only have a cockatiel–and there are times when he is vocalizing and looking at me–I feel that he “gets” what he is doing too. I read the book “Alex and Me” by Irene Pepperberg.That book had a profound effect on me.I am sure that African Greys are the most intelligent of all the parrots.I love birds and have learned a lot about them after living with them so long.I believe you should have to take a test on bird behavior before being allowed to own one! Please don’t quote Alex so much–it makes me cry!

  13. MARIE ARMSTRONG says:

    WHERE CAN I SEE ALEX?