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.
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.