Border Collies by Lynn M. Stone

By Lynn M. Stone

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These discoveries are speculative in comparison with the scrupulously checked, minutely documented and quantitively, as well as qualitatively, impressive findings Irene Pepperberg has made about the African grey’s intelligence. Like an anthropologist getting the local language, her success has depended on a cooperative ‘native informant’. Alex’s astonishing ability to do what are, in effect, intelligence tests gives a novel sense to the 53 Putting its best foot forward: this mid-18th-century engraving poses an African grey, a familiar cage bird, on a lonely tree stump.

71 As a world parrot type, the green parrot has long ceased to be confined to India. His kind is, for example, widespread throughout Australia. Nowadays, his best-known, globally distributed avatar is the budgerigar. As many as 3,000 Rose-ringed parakeets (Psittacula krameri) can be found in south London, England. The parakeets may have descended from captive birds escaped during the 1950s and 1960s. They live at high altitudes on mountains in India, so can tolerate British winters. The Central Science Laboratory is monitoring the birds because they are a pest in India, and pose 50 Elizabeth Gould died in childbirth in 1841, aged 37.

81 The solitary confinement to which we condemn Polly née Psittacus now has real world implications. Scientifically trained zoologists have often treated aviculturalists with disdain, but in the case of many species of parrot, they have to rely on them for information about nesting. 82 Even if the ‘species’ are only behaviourally differentiated, how, when they are returned to Paradise, will they communicate or understand each other? As Polynesia explains to Stubbins, I may have started the Doctor learning [animal languages] but I never could have done even that, if he hadn’t first taught me to understand what I was saying when I spoke English.

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