Wednesday, March 16, 2011
In 1977 Irene asked a sales person at a pet store to choose her an African Grey parrot out of the ones they were selling. She was choosing an African Grey because of the clarity of their speech. It was fate and their relationship began. Over a 30 year period Alex and Irene changed the way science regarded avian intelligence. Irene Pepperberg included just enough scientific research in her book to give readers an idea of what was involved, to prove her experiments, yet it was not boring. Alex could count to six, identify colors, size, such as bigger and smaller, or same and different, identify materials and had a vocabulary of 150 words.
The night before he died his last words to Irene were “You be good. I love you.” Every time I read this or write it I end up with tears in my eyes. Alex is a celebrity, I found this book educational, touching and entertaining.