Death of a Legend

Most of you know that I love parrots. When asked why I have a parrot instead of a dog or a cat, I sometimes flippantly say, "Have you ever seen a cat talk?" The talking ability of some parrots is one of the most amazing things about them, and the most amazing talker of all, Alex, died last Friday. It was just announced today.

The MSNBC story can be found here.

Alex was one of the best ambassadors that companion birds have ever had, and his 30+ years of work with Dr. Irene Pepperburg offered an amazing insight into the avian brain and a tantalizing glimpse of what human/animal communication could be. He could identify shapes, colors, count to 6 including zero, and he even made up his own words and names for people around him. He was proven to be actually communicating, not just mimicking, and he was featured in numerous documentaries and books. He will be sorely missed - not only by his colleagues at Brandeis University, but by bird lovers the world over. I didn't ever meet Alex, but I've read and watched so much about him that I feel like one of my own flock has died.

Alex's death was apparently without warning. If you have birds, or companion animals of any kind really, spend some extra time with them today. You never know when it may be the last time.


WNG said...

Cuervo will get extra snuggles tonight (the dog- not the tequila).

Squid said...

Sadness, its fate, it is time for Asterix's bath.

Modig_Bjorn said...

Achilles and Beast will get extra treats tonight in honor of Alex's passing.

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