Saturday Surprise — Cursing Parrots and Cute Critters

Well, it’s certainly been another of those exhausting, nerve-wracking weeks, hasn’t it?  Time for just a bit of humour, for ‘just a bit’ is likely all I can muster tonight, but I wanted to see if I could help you start the weekend with a smile.


The Lincolnshire Wildlife Park located in Friskney, England, adopted five African grey parrots back in August, but you won’t see them on display if you go there.  The parrots, Billy, Elsie, Eric, Jade and Tyson, seemed to be causing the zoo some problems, or rather their language was.  Turns out they knew more swear words than a lot of humans and they weren’t afraid to use them. parrotWith more colorful language than plumage, the birds used different curse words in different British accents, but they were all unprintably coarse. At one point, a group of women walking past the aviary thought the lewd comments shouted at them were from a hidden staff member.  The park had no complaints — in fact, visitors reveled in swearing right back at the birds — but the park officials feared children and parents might not enjoy the experience as much.  So, the parrots were moved into a temporary space away from the public eye, giving them time to be around more family-friendly birds and hopefully clean up their language.

Steve Nichols, the chief executive of the Lincolnshire Wildlife Park, said …

“When a parrot swears, it’s very difficult for other humans not to laugh. And when we laugh, that’s a positive response. And therefore, what they do is they learn both the laugh and the swear word. It’s not so bad with one on its own, but then, if you get five together, once one swears and another one laughs, and another one laughs, before you know it, it sounds like a group of teenagers or an old working men’s club.  Billy is the worst one.”

Now that the birds have been removed from the public exhibits, some guests are arriving who have heard about the vulgar birds but don’t know which cage they’re in. So they have taken to swearing at all of the birds, hoping they’ll get some abuse back!  Personally, I find this entire thing hysterically funny, but I’m sure there are some who would be offended.  The birds seem to have calmed and are due to be back in the public venue soon.

I was RIGHT (for once)

Y’know how I always try to end Jolly Monday and sometimes Saturday Surprise with a cute or funny animal video?  I’ve just always thought it seemed like seeing cute critters would start the day off right.  Well, turns out there is scientific evidence to support my theory!quokkaA new study conducted by the University of Leeds has discovered that watching videos of cute animals is great for your health!

Tourism Western Australia and The University of Leeds partnered up to explore the physiological and psychological impact of cute animals on students and staff at the University of Leeds.

The sessions involved 19 subjects — 15 students and four staff members — and was intentionally timed during winter exams, a time when stress is at a significantly high level. The participants were asked to watch a 30-minute slide show that included photos and video clips of various cute animals, such as puppies, kittens and quokkas.

In all cases, the study saw blood pressure, heart rate and anxiety go down in participants, 30 minutes after watching the video.

The average heart rate of all participants fell from 72.2 bpm to 67.4 bpm: A reduction in heart rate of 6.65% in just 30 minutes.

The average blood pressure across all participants dropped from 136/88 to 115/71. In percentage terms, this represents a 14.9% drop in systolic blood pressure and a 18.28% drop in diastolic blood pressure.

Anxiety rates also went down by 35%, measured using the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory.

In a post-study questionnaire, some of the participants comments included:

“I felt happy and calm”

“I wanted to be on that beach with those little kangaroo things (quokkas)

The study also found that most participants preferred video clips over still images, particularly of animals interacting with humans.  And so, rather than me rambling on and on, let’s watch a cute animal video!!!

And … got time for one more?

And on that note, I hope you guys have something fun planned for the weekend!  Keep safe and be happy, my friends!

27 thoughts on “Saturday Surprise — Cursing Parrots and Cute Critters

  1. Benjamin will be delighted with this Saturday Surprise! He will laugh about the “potty mouthed” parrots, but I’m relieved that there is not a video that he could listen too. I had read about the Australian study though presently I recall neither where nor when, but I must agree with their results. When Benjamin was very young we began exploring the web for videos of animals as a learning experience for him. We watched them together and it quickly became not only educational but also great entertainment with a laughter-inducing effect for both of us! Thank-you for those much needed smiles!

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    • Knowing of Benjamin’s love for all critters, I naturally thought of him when I chose the animal videos! Actually, had I found a video of the parrots, I likely would have included it. I’m going to look for one this weekend, but I’ll post it separately so you won’t have to explain any new words to Benjamin!


    • Since Benjamin is not here to answer your question, and he certainly could, that is a Quokka! He would also tell you that they are known as the “World’s happiest animals”. I was able to purchase a stuffed toy for him from Australia that is adorable. Benjamin loves that toy he named “Quokky”!

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    • I had the same thought! The critters in the 3 pictures are quokkas … I think that along with koalas and pandas, they are among the most adorable animals on earth! Glad you enjoyed them!


  2. I can feel my heartrate going down and my BP is following. The quokkas are cute, the sloths also. The raccoons are a laugh but get me one of those parrots and I’ll laugh all day, it can do my swearing for me.

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