Vocal mimicry in wild African Grey Parrots Psittacus erithacus



The ability of captive Grey Parrots Psittacus erithacus to imitate heterospecific sounds is well known. Analysis of a sound recording from Zaire reveals the first evidence of vocal mimicry in the wild of nine species of birds and a bat. Examination of recordings from Gabon and the Ivory Coast indicates that vocal mimicry may be widespread in wild populations. Possible reasons why this phenomenon has not been detected before are discussed.