Life with parrots is a menagerie of weird sound effects. I have a Congo African Grey (Skye), and a Blue and Gold Macaw (Tequila):
Tequila is not very talkative, but when motivated, she can be kind of chatty. “Motivated” generally means “not the centre of attention at this time.” Skye, on the other hand, pretty much makes sounds whenever you’re not looking at her.
So this page is dedicated to keeping track of the interesting sound effects I get to listen to.
A warning/greeting scream that can probably be heard on the space station
“Want some” – if you’re eating something she thinks looks good, or if she’s thirsty and sees a tap…
tick tick tick – 3 fast clicks… I do this with her a lot
What can only be described as a macaw’s approximation of a purr or growl. She makes this sound all the time when she’s happy/interested, but we hear it most when she’s got her head in a food bowl, thus earning the name “buckethead sounds”.
A sinister sounding “hahaha!” laugh that she learned from my normal laugh.
Fully voiced “hi!”
Whispered “whatchu doin’?”
Whispered “hi Tiki”
Whispered “hi Tequila”
“Up” (asking to be brought to her net to climb up)
“Raak raak raak”… as in, mimicking me making fun of her squawking.
A barking dog. We have no idea where she would have learned this.
“Want back” – this seems to be her way of asking to be returned to the parrot room.
[blowing wind sound] “hot” – this happens at the breakfast table when there is hot food.
The warning beeps from my house alarm.
The door chime.
My microwave timer.
The keypad beeps from my Yaesu FTdx-1200.
The power-off beep from my Yaesu FTdx-1200.
Pretty much every half-baked, failed whistle attempt I have made (I’m not a great whistler).
“Pretty Skye”, “Hello Skye”, “Skye girl”, etc.
“Good morning”, both in my voice and in her previous owner’s voice.
“woo woo woo” from Three Stooges, as best I can tell.
“I’m so woo woo woo” … sometimes she doesn’t get it right.
“Meow” as in Squidette saying “meow”, not an actual cat meow.
The song of every sparrow that has come near the window.
The song of every crow that has come near the window.
A series of conversations, mostly in a man’s voice, but not usually clear on what’s being said – I’d guess one half of a cell phone conversation.
“girl!” – she used to say this to the previous owner when she wanted to be picked up. I’ve only heard her say it when the previous owner is around.
A popping sound like a suction cup being popped.
Clicking like the tick-tick-tick with Tequila, but she can do it to shave and a haircut and other patterns that I’ve never done.
The calendar alert chime from Squidette’s iPhone.
The clanging of a metal spoon against a metal pot.
A tone like tuning a radio really fast.
Squidette blowing her nose.
Sniffing as if she has a cold or allergies.
A short cough.
An electric drill/screwdriver.
A wolf whistle
The “come here” whistle (I don’t know what else to call it).
The kitchen timer that hangs on the fridge.
An almost sinister “hahaha!” laugh, which is apparently her interpretation of my laugh.
“Love you!” (in Squidette’s voice)
“Love you Skye” in my voice, and in Squidette’s voice
She seems to be mastering an actual cat’s meow.
An entire phone conversation from the beeps of the dialling, through the mutual hellos, to the “bye, love you” to the hang-up beep, although the middle conversation part is mostly gibberish. This is done in my wife’s voice mostly, so I assume it’s a call between Squidette and Mother of Squidette.
Whistling the intro theme to “Great White North” (aka Bob and Doug McKenzie).
“Want some” in Tequila’s voice.
“Water” which is almost always an actual request for water.
The sound of hammering.
A spaceship shooting.
A pigeon-like coo or purr.
The beep of the phone being hung up.
The beep from the time signal.
“Good Girl” – this is said pretty exclusively to me, and only when I am doing obvious work around her, like mopping the floor.
It seems that crows visiting my back yard have been taught through the glass. Crows are capable of limited mimicry as well, and Tequila has taught a crow to scream like a macaw. I am certain my neighbours are thrilled by this.