Victor is the best budgie
July 28, 2005 2:54 PM   Subscribe

Meet Victor, a deceased, brilliant parrot whose owner recorded their regular conversations. The bird gives marital advice, demands human intervention to defend his toys, laughs to entertain his human, and much more. Imbedded audio in some links.
posted by leapingsheep (17 comments total)
A lot of this seems like gibberish to me, but I applaud any animal that can say, "I fart big poopies"
posted by Robot Johnny at 2:59 PM on July 28, 2005

He's resting.

Sorry, it kinda had to be done.
posted by notmydesk at 3:35 PM on July 28, 2005

I've read this, and I still think this is totally bogus. He's taught the parrot to mimic human speech and babble, but the degree of anthropomorphism projected onto this parrot by his owner is just incredible:

Some selections from this page:

Victor imagines hurting Betty in a fight and being judged by his peers in a court of law.

A funny recording where Victor imagines God coming for him and Victor is not sure if he wants to go.

Victor talks about how learning to understand him is similar to learning Braille and tries to convince other budgies in the world to speak out so people will treat them better.

Victor has an argument with Betty about why he talks, God, and being caged by people.

Presumably, if Victor had lived a few more months, he'd be discussing the influence of Milton on Blake.

I don't think this is a hoax, insofar as I can believe that Ryan (who runs the website) genuinely believes that Victor is expressing himself. If you read the transcripts, it becomes totally obvious that he is projecting his own wishes on this parrot.
posted by ori at 3:42 PM on July 28, 2005

Apparently both the bible and Nostradamus anticipate Victor, the talking parrot:

I was just doing some research on Nostradamus because in one of the recordings, a budgie mentioned his name and said that his predictions are all coming true. During this research I was surprised to find this on one of Nostradamus' prediction pages.

Several months ago some of the budgies in our group started saying that they could predict earthquakes and warned of a major earthquake catastrophe on the horizon. December 25th, 2004 a major earthquake did hit, killing over a 100,000 people in Asia.
posted by ori at 3:46 PM on July 28, 2005

It's true, the guy is exaggerating, but still the bird seems to be speaking with understanding.
posted by leapingsheep at 3:48 PM on July 28, 2005

apparently, he talks like yoda. i agree that the owner is projecting, but hey, it's still a bird talking in english. i'm not too sure many of us could speak in bird...
posted by gnutron at 4:31 PM on July 28, 2005

Coloqually speaking, that ain't no parrot! That's a budgie.

You crazy Americans.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 5:23 PM on July 28, 2005

parrots can do advanced mathematics
Ravens also have phenomenally high IQ's by the standard of human beings.
posted by bukvich at 5:37 PM on July 28, 2005

As a parody, we might imagine what might future conversations will have sounded like:

tree low ??? went psss
bad want ??? say ???

Victor is here reflecting on the declining tree population of the Amazonian rainforests, and conjures a nightmarish vision of a world without trees, in which the air itself hisses with pollution. Finally, Victor expresses his desire to lecture the world about the dangers of clear-cutting rainforest.
posted by ori at 6:53 PM on July 28, 2005

This is a hoax. I'm convinced of it, even though I've only got my gut instint and the impression that this guy is kind of shady. Some of the dates and stories are off. Here, he says he posted the recordings in 1999. However, reveals no victor webpage before late 2000. He also only started "advertising" his page via usenet in 2000
And it also seems to convient that victor would die so soon after the site went up. Then there is the discrepency in the time he died. Old versions say march 3, 2001, new versions say march 2, 2001. That could be attributed to a bad memory.

None of this, is of course, proof. I just have a giant gut feeling that this is a hoax. Not some minor misunderstanding of what the bird might actually be saying, but made up recordings. The guy does stuff involving reverse recording so I have no problem believing he would fiddle with his own voice until he got it sounding like a budgie.

I have no doubt that someday we'll learn that animals exceed our expectations and understanding of intelligence. However, this guy ain't going to be the forefather.

Oh, and I don't remember where it is now, but somewhere on his site, he explains the reason he hasn't had this verified scientifically is because he's in Canada and its not like the US. I guess he's saying Canada doesn't do science.
posted by [insert clever name here] at 7:33 PM on July 28, 2005

Ah, here it is. I should have looked a little harder:
posted by [insert clever name here] at 7:34 PM on July 28, 2005

I haven't watched any of the videos yet, but the audio recordings sound very suspicious to me. My first thought in listening to a few was that the bird's voice sounded very, very creepy. They do sound like they're produced through reverse recording, like Twin Peaks' Black Lodge segments, spoken backwards and then played backwards. Audio analysis could probably prove or disprove this.
posted by nobody at 9:22 PM on July 28, 2005

We have a couple of talking birds and while they never cease to amaze me with wtf will come outta thier mouths (it's like having little family samplers) It seems the people who live here are non delusional enough to realize that they are just "parroting" back what they have heard. That guy would have to walk about rambling like a madman for his bird to say this shit. That is if in fact his bird is actually saying anything.

Budgies are not know as such clear speakers. For the most part budgie "speech" sounds like mumbling at best.

This is absolutely fake.
posted by angrynative at 11:14 PM on July 28, 2005

Even if the voice is real, he's the Penny Patterson of the bird world. A hack, and a champion of confirmation bias.
posted by sellout at 12:46 AM on July 29, 2005

Even If the voice is real...
posted by sellout at 12:50 AM on July 29, 2005

It seems too elaborate to be a fake. I think that he genuinely believes in this budgie.
posted by ori at 2:14 AM on July 29, 2005

This thread just would not be complete without reference to the story of a particularly talented parrot who possessed both great intelligence and a prehensile penis.
posted by beagle at 12:13 PM on July 29, 2005

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