NPR logo

The Parrot Who Said 'I Love You'

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/98659373/98659532" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
The Parrot Who Said 'I Love You'

The Parrot Who Said 'I Love You'

The Parrot Who Said 'I Love You'

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/98659373/98659532" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

During their 30 years together, psychology professor Irene Pepperberg and Alex, her African gray parrot, said "I love you" to each other nearly every day. Pepperberg writes about the extraordinary abilities of her pet in the memoir Alex & Me.

This interview was originally broadcast on Nov. 12, 2008.

'Alex & Me': The Hidden World Of Animal Minds

'Alex & Me': The Hidden World Of Animal Minds

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/96897162/96901589" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

During their 30 years together, Irene Pepperberg and her African gray parrot said "I love you" to each other nearly every day. hide caption

toggle caption

During their 30 years together, Irene Pepperberg and her African gray parrot said "I love you" to each other nearly every day.

Although his brain was no bigger than a walnut, Alex the African gray parrot could do more than speak and understand — he could also count, identify colors and, according to his owner Irene Pepperberg, develop an emotional relationship. When Alex died in September 2007, his last words to Pepperberg were "You be good. I love you."

In her new book, Alex & Me, Pepperberg explores the world of animal cognition and describes her unique relationship with Alex.

Pepperberg is adjunct professor at the Department of Psychology at Brandeis University and a lecturer and research associate at Harvard University. She is also the author of The Alex Studies.