Neutral rating for Alex and Me: How a Scientist and a Parrot Discovered a Hidden World of Animal Intelligence – and Formed a Deep Bond in the Process by Irene M. Pepperberg. Science/nature.
Not a bad book at all, but I think I should have read Pepperberg’s book The Alex Studies instead; this was more a dual biography of Pepperberg and Alex, and thin on the actual scientific content I was interested in.
We went through this double act several times: “Ap-ple.” “Ban-erry.” “Ap-ple.” “Ban-erry.” I was a little ticked off. I thought Alex was being deliberately obtuse. In retrospect, it was quite hysterical. When I told one of my students, Jennifer Newton, about it later, she literally fell off her chair laughing. But Alex hadn’t quite finished with me just yet. At the end of that session he said, very slowly and deliberately, “Ban-err-eeee,” just as I might do with him when I was trying to teach him a new label. Maybe he was thinking, Listen carefully, lady. I’m trying to make this easy for you. I wrote in my journal that Alex seemed “almost angry with us.”
If you enjoyed this post, please share it!