Monk parakeets have unique ‘voices’ that may identify friends and foes

A small parrot species is the first bird known to have multiple vocalisations that are unique to specific individuals, similar to humans


6 February 2023

A pale gray and green parrot stands with its beak open, in the middle of a vocalisation

Monk parakeets may use vocal cues to recognise others in their social group

Simone Giuliani/Shutterstock

Wild monk parakeets have unique “voice-prints” that may help them recognise individuals within the flock.

Though select species like humans and bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) have vocalisations specific to single individuals, many animals sound indistinguishable from their peers. Even birds that rely on a variety of call types to communicate different intentions tend to sound similar to each other.

“It’s hard to think of three groups more [evolutionarily] separated – dolphins and humans and parrots,” says Karl Berg …

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