The finding of a parrot with an almost unparalleled power to communicate with people has brought scientists up short.
The bird, a captive African grey called N’kisi, has a vocabulary of 950 words, and shows signs of a sense of humour.
He uses words in context, with past, present and future tenses, and is often inventive.
One N’kisi-ism was “flied” for “flew”, and another “pretty smell medicine” to describe the aromatherapy oils used by his owner, an artist based in New York.
When he first met Dr Jane Goodall, the renowned chimpanzee expert, after seeing her in a picture with apes, N’kisi said: “Got a chimp?”
The daughter of Winston Churchill has dismissed claims her father was the owner of a 104-year-old parrot which shouts anti-Nazi abuse.
He supposedly entertains customers at the garden centre by squawking anti-Nazi abuse which [current owner] Mr Oram claims it picked up from Churchill.
But [Churchill’s daughter] Lady Soames said: “My father never owned a macaw or anything remotely resembling it.
“Before the war we did have an African Grey for about three years, but that’s quite, quite different from a macaw – it is smaller, or more compact, with a sort of red face.”