OPIE'S TALKING ABILITY

Capes can be excellent talkers. Our Cape, Opie (hatch date 09/12/2000), has an extensive vocabulary and can mimick many sounds. In addition, his whistling ability is excellent and he makes up his own songs. His pronounciation is extremely clear, much better in fact than many Greys and Cockatoos I know.

More impressive, however, is the fact that Opie talks in context. He has demonstrated several times that he understands the meaning of the English word and uses it at the appropriate time. For example, when wrestling with his toys, Opie will say "No bite...bad boy" if the toys do not "behave". When Reggie, our other parrot, lunges at him to bite, he will say to her "Stop it!" or even "Be a good boy!".

It is also symptomatic of his intelligence that Opie learns words and sentences only when they are in context and when they mean something to him. For example, we leave the radio on when we go to work, on a station which transmits music and news. I never heard Opie repeat words from radio announcements, ads, etc., presumably because he does not know what they mean.

Here is a list of the many words, phrases, and sounds Opie makes. Some of them he said only a couple of times, some are his favored and he will spend literally hours repeating them, sometimes putting his head in his food bowl for the "echo" effect.

Hello, hi
Hi Opie!
Hi baby!
Hi kiddies! (Joe says it to both birds when he comes home)
Mommy (pronounced "Mawmy")
Mommy? Mommy? ... MO-MMY!! (when I leave the room and he wants to come)
Be a good boy
Good booooy (in 2 different voices, a male's and a female's)
Good baby boy!
Bye bye
Pickaboo
I love you
Weeee!
Uh-oh! (only when he or somebody else drops something)
Gimme kiss *smack*
Gimme gimme keeesss
'ts ok (for "it's ok")
Step up! Up up up!
Up! Up up up upupupupapapappappapaaaa...(trailing off into a song)
Stepopie (contraction of Step up Opie)
No bite... Bad, bad boy!
C'me here
C'me on
C'me here Opie (to Reggie our other parrot)
Ssstop it! (to Reggie when she lunges at him; to Mommy when he does not want to step up)
I know, Opie
I guess...
Hang on
Night night (before going to bed)
Waive (or wait, not sure)
Thaaaat's right
Hey hey hey
Duckey: quack quack quack
Turkey: gobble gobble gobble
Doggy: woof woof
Kitty: meaow
Birdie: (various whistles)
Geesey: awh awh awh
Crow: kah kah kah
Sund...Mond...Tuesd... (like when flipping through the messages on our answering machine)
Sunday... (mumble) am
(makes phone ringing; makes answering machine going on) Hi! You have reached Rita, Reggie, and Opie. We can't (mumble)... Thanks!
(makes phone ringing) Hello...yeah...ok...Quiet! yeah yeah...(mumble)...bye!
(chewing sounds) ... mmmmh!.... (chewing sounds)
Yummy yummy!
Opie, yummy yummy! Opie, YUMMY YUMMY!! (getting impatient when his food does not come fast enough)
* double click of the tongue when he wants to go to bed. This is because we have a little song made up for bedtime, with a double click of the tongue at the refrain.
* cough sounds (2 different types: throat-clearing and the really bad cold)
* raspberry sound
* sneeze sound - bending the head like in a sneeze
* popping sound - with his finger by his mouth
* histerical laugh
* boinggg- sound of heavy toy dropped on the cage food skirt (his trick to attract our attention)
* sound of the answering machine going off
* smacks
* eating sounds when he eats
* snorting (with a real bad phlagm problem)
....plus mumbling and many various combinations of the above, in logical order!