They were known as great mimics for a long time but scientists discovered that parrots also had varied musical tastes. Interestingly, the creatures do not like dance music.
Researchers monitored a pair of African grey parrots (Psittacus erithacus) and their listening preferences of music. They found that while one favoured soothing “middle of the road” music, the other opted for more upbeat, modern pop.
Both birds also enjoyed rock and folk music and danced along, by bobbing their heads and legs. They even sang along. But none of the parrots appreciated electronic dance music and seemed distressed.
Dr Franck Péron, from the University of Lincoln, said: “The birds clearly showed preferences. One preferred the rhythmic and one preferred the classical.
“There is no trend for the birds. Even if they are in the same place hearing the same things, they do not prefer the same music.”
The touch screen was left in their cages for a month and the birds were allowed to select the music whenever they wished.
Although the pair liked to listen to both songs, clear preferences emerged — with one consistently choosing the Scissor Sisters and other opting for Vangelis.
Dr Franck said the findings, which will be published in the journal Applied Animal Behaviour Science, would be useful to owners, who could use touch-screen technology to provide their own “jukeboxes” for their parrots.