By Olivia B. Waxman
May 13, 2015

A video going viral on Reddit appears to show a bird cackling like a “super villain.”

Some experts say talking birds mimic sounds they find appealing, and parrots may rely on their strong memories to get the hang of something after a single listen. Parrots may use “vocal imitation” to attract a mate or find one another in a crowd. As Michael Schindlinger, an assistant professor of biology at Lesley University, wrote in Scientific American, “Maybe this is the best reason for these parrots to imitate: to better command the attention of a potential listener by producing sounds for which the listener already has a memory.”

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