We’re big Whovians here at BirdChannel, and one thing we love is when parrots and Doctor Who come together. So when I saw this African grey named Pixel singing the Doctor Who theme was popular, we had to put in on the website. The best part is what the owner, Youtube user Eva Lahalle, has to say about why Pixel sings the song in the Youtube video description:
Here’s how Pixel and I signal each other when we’re not in the same room. He sure loves Doctor Who!
The owner uses the Doctor Who theme as a contact call (you can hear them sing parts of it in the background after Pixel does the first part), which I think is, as the Doctor would say, “Brilliant!”
A contact call is a sound a parrot uses to keep in touch with its flock.
According to the late bird behaviorist Liz Wilson, CVT, CPBC, when describing what a contact call is in this article:
In the wild, contact calls are likely to be species related, but this often appears to not be the case with domestic-bred parrots. Instead, domestic-bred birds often use contact calls based on sounds they have learned from the human habitat. So sounds can be quite individual in captivity. Owners can identify their own bird’s contact call by paying attention to the bird’s communications.
This is a normal survival behavior. The contact call helps the bird make certain the flock has not left it behind, as safety is highest with the flock.
A contact call can be whatever you want it to be? Do you and your bird have a unique contact call?