Study Suggests Unique “Voice Print” in Parrots Allows Identification of Individuals

Parrots are exceptional talkers. They can learn new sounds during their entire lives, amassing an almost unlimited vocal repertoire. At the same time, parrots produce calls so they can be individually recognized by members of their flock—raising the question of how their calls can be very variable while also uniquely identifiable. A study on monk parakeets conducted by the Max Planck Institute of Animal Behavior and Museu de Ciències Naturals de Barcelona might have the answer: individuals have a unique tone of voice, known as a “voice print” (like a finger print) similar to that in humans. This finding in a wild parrot raises the possibility that a voice print might also be present in other vocally flexible species, such as dolphins and bats. The results were published on October 4, 2023 in Royal Society Open Science. The open-access article is titledEvidence for Vocal Signatures and Voice-Prints in a Wild Parrot.”
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