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We all Crave Connection

I just read about a study on parrots where researchers arranged for pet parrots to be given the opportunity for video calls with other pet parrots. They were taught to ring a bell when they wanted to request a call and the owners would show give them a choice of which bird to connect to. As it turned out, most of the parrots started asking for the calls quite frequently. In fact, 18 parrots made 147 calls during the length of the study. They generally developed favorite friends and spent time making noises with them, showing them objects, and even sleeping next to the tablet while it was on a call. The joy this brought them was unmistakable.

Parrots are social birds and share many traits with humans. It is no surprise that they would crave company just as we do. This need can often be disregarded with our older(human) loved ones. As a society, we sometimes prioritize staying in a house over friendship and socialization. In the wild, you would not see a parrot distance itself from the flock when it got older. That would deprive them of the socialization that they need to stay healthy.

If you have a loved one who is living alone and no longer getting out to see friends, you should know that the socialization they are missing is vital. The parrot researchers noted that the birds use the calls in "very individual and beautiful ways." You might find the same thing with your loved one once they are connected with new friends.

Penny Brandt-Roy helps clients find senior communities in the Metro Atlanta area. For more information on her free service, visit

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