- A new study finds that tamed parrots who video call each other are less likely to be lonely.
- Experts have helped train pets to signal when their owners want to use their tablets and smartphones.
- Scientists say the parrots displayed increasingly social behavior when in contact with other birds.
Scientists say parrots who can talk to their ‘friends’ via video chat feel less lonely and have a better quality of life.
in new research It was published In the proceedings of the 2023 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, domesticated parrots were trained to cue other birds to make video calls.
Between 3 months of studyAnimal-computer interaction experts from , the University of Glasgow, Northeastern University, and MIT collaborated to investigate the effects of increased interaction between pets.
They investigated over 1,000 hours of video observation of 18 parrots and found that they were more regularly engaged in social behaviors such as singing and preening.
Parrots that made the most calls also received the most calls from other parrots. This suggests that the experiment helped increase the sociability of the birds.
Parrots are known to be highly intelligent animals that live in large packs in the wild. University of Glasgow press releaseIn captivity, however, they are often kept singly or in small groups, so they suffer from isolation and boredom.
In the study, volunteer parrot caretakers from the United States also bonded more closely with their pets during the study, scientists said.
According to the press release, the call was ended if the bird seemed uncomfortable or distracting.
Although 20 million parrots are kept as pets in the United States, they “often lack adequate stimulation to meet their high social, cognitive and emotional needs,” the study said. ing.
Jennifer Cunha, a co-author of the study, who helped recruit and train parrot caretakers, said the findings were “encouraging,” according to the release.
“The parrots seem to understand that they are genuinely interacting with other birds on screen, and their behavior is what you would expect from real-life interactions between these types of birds.” “We saw birds learning to forage for the first time. They reported flying for the first time after their birds called,” Cunha said. said.
Another author of the paper, Ilyena Hirskyj-Douglas, added that the study is important because it focuses specifically on birds rather than caretakers.
“The animal internet already exists. There are hundreds of products on the market that allow pet owners to remotely interact with animals over the internet, but their design is largely based on We focus on what people want, not what they need.”