Pet parrots allowed to make video calls to other birds seem to feel less isolated. Noting how video calls helped many people feel less isolated in the pandemic, scientists wondered if the 20 million parrots in homes in the US also might benefit. They gave the parrots a touchscreen tablet that gave them a choice of which 'friend' to call and, based on more than 1,000 hours of footage of 18 pet parrots, found parrots that called other birds were the most popular choices. In the wild, many species of parrots live in large flocks, but pets tend to be kept alone or in a small group. Recruited from users of Parrot Kindergarten, an online coaching and educational program for parrots and their owners, the birds learned to ring a bell and then touch a photo of another bird on the tablet screen to trigger a call to that bird, with help from their owners.

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