Hearing Voices? Check For Budgies

If you haven’t checked out the contest page in while, then you probably don’t know about our new “Budgie Babble and Gabble” contest. In a nut shell, we’re asking for videos of budgies talking, and then we’re compiling it into a 3-minute montage of the best submissions. Why? Because budgies can and do talk!

Whenever someone mentions that they had a budgie growing up (as in “I’m not a bird person, but I did have a parakeet when I was little”), I can’t resist pointing out that budgies ?aka parakeets in the most general term ?can be super talkers. This often elicits the “You’re kidding me!” response.

My dear green budgie, Fred, who I had when I was 5 years old, never talked human, so I didn’t believe this phenomenon until my first year working on BIRD TALK. That’s when the “Peanut Tape” arrived. It was a cassette tape (shows you how long ago that must have been!) sent in by a proud budgie owner. The accompanying letter said something along the lines of, “Thought I’d share my wonderful little Peanut with you, he’s a good talker.”

We popped in the tape and were instantly amazed ?and perhaps a little creeped out. Budgies have tiny voices, and I hope to never encounter a demon but if I did, I’m sure it would sound a lot like Peanut. A low voice that sounded like it was sped up, run backwards and then sped up again emanated from the boom box: “Peanut want cookie,” and “Give kisses, kiss, kiss.”  It was nearly 30 minutes of this tiny voice asking for cookies and kisses.

I joked how funny it would be if Peanut’s was housed in the guest room; that just as the unsuspecting guest was winding down for the night, this little voice started saying, “Give kisses, kiss, kiss.” Certainly they would never suspect the budgie. 

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