I’ve always been afraid of birds, especially parrots. Maybe I watched that famous Alfred Hitchcock movie at too young an age. Perhaps being dive-bombed in the birdhouse while on a second grade field trip to the zoo was a bit traumatizing. Or maybe it’s just their pointy beaks, creepy black eyes and wicked looking talons that freak me out. I routinely avoided trees, bird feeders and the birdcages at the local Petco. That is until I saw footage of Lolita the death metal parrot.
Since her video appearance on the Comedy Central show “Tosh.0,” Lolita has become an Internet sensation. Her YouTube video currently has more than 4 million views. Some say she sings Drowning Pool’s “Bodies” better than the band itself.
Until watching Lolita, I had no idea that parrots could be more entertaining than they are scary. Yet a quick YouTube search revealed more than 5000 videos of singing parrots. They seem to sing everything from show tunes, to opera, to hip-hop and metal. I even found one who could sing the Sponge Bob theme song and Happy Birthday. I was quite amazed.
I was even more amazed to learn that parrots do not have vocal cords. They create sounds by pushing air through their trachea while changing its depth and shape to control pitch. They can also develop very large vocabularies. There is apparently an African Grey parrot in England with a vocabulary of 950 words!
I would love to have an animal companion that could talk to me in more than meows. However, a house full of cats and long hours at the office does not add up to the best environment for a feisty-feathered friend. I’ll just have to enjoy the music of Lolita and other parrots online.
Do you have a pet parrot at home? What kind of singing talent does your parrot possess? Share with us the different ways you’re entertained by your parrot.