Eddy's Good News: Parrots on video calls and studies into animal behaviour in Africa

Virgin Radio

5 May 2023, 09:37

Credit: Getty

Every day during his show on Virgin Radio, Eddy Temple-Morris brings you Good News stories from around the world, to help inject a bit of positivity into your day!Be sure to listen each day between 10am and 1pm (Monday - Friday) to hear Eddy's Good News stories (amongst the finest music of course), but if you miss any of them you can catch up on the transcripts of Eddy's most recent stories below:

Friday 5th May 2023

Unbelievable avian news now that in a recent scientific study parrots were taught to video call each other, and they absolutely loved it!

We all know and appreciate how several video calling platforms saved our bacon during lockdown and the idea that perhaps other animals' mental health could be improved by video communication was something that scientists at MIT, Northwestern University, in the states and our own Glasgow University, wanted to take a closer look at. 

Loneliness can be a very real problem for parrots and their mental health can suffer just like ours. 

The parrots in the study were introduced to other parrots via video calls. Then here’s the really clever bit. They were shown a platform where they could see pictures of their parrot friends and choose who to call, and make the call themselves. They seemed to understand what was going on and called their mates just like we do and had favourites just like us. the owners overwhelmingly reported an extremely positive experience for their pets, moods lifted but most interestingly parrots ended up teaching each other stuff during these calls. Owners reported their pets learning how to forage or even gain new skills, new words and some even flew for the first time. Some parrots loved showing their friends their favourite toys and they chatted for the maximum slotted time. Heartwarmingly two of them who live thousands of miles away became best friends, are still in touch and talk all the time. That’s just so hilariously brilliant. I love it.

Via: youtube.com

Credit: Dupuis-Désormeaux et al

So, a warthog, a hyena and a porcupine walk into a hole…no, it’s not a parody of a really bad and probably racist joke from the nineteen seventies, it’s video evidence from researchers into animal behaviour in Africa.

Observing wildlife in a national park in Kenya, scientists noticed a den was being shared by the most unlikely flatmates. Despite the tusks, the teeth and the numerous sharp quills these guys seemed to get on fine with their unusual flat share.

Den sharing is not unprecedented, I shared with you a wonderful story, during those terrible Australian bushfires, of wombats rescuing wallabies, lizards, even snakes by letting them in their burrows. Pine martens, foxes, and badgers have been observed in the same hill-burrow complex in Italy in 2019, but this is a first for Africa. As a bonus to this, I have to say that watching and listening to an African porcupine eating a small pumpkin is one of the greatest things I’ve ever seen and heard. It’s the cutest sound ever!

Via: goodnewsnetwork.org