An emotional cockatiel went viral after his owner uploaded a video of the bird singing an Apple ringtone. The video showed "Lucky" the cockatiel tweeting a perfect rendition of Apple’s “Opening” ringtone whenever he got upset.
Kevin J. McGowan, an ornithologist at Cornell University explains:
“Almost all parrots have a similar social system: an individual bonds and mates with a single other individual, and they spend all of their time together for the rest of their lives. When they’re pets, parrots usually bond with one person—and sometimes bite anyone else who gets near their ‘mate’. Pair members imitate each other’s calls and come up with their own special talk, kind of like the way human partners do. Pet parrots mimic human speech and other noises because they’re trying to be a good mate.”
The cockatiel is associating the ringtone as something their “mate” is saying—and it’s copying him. Kinda makes sense. As far as the bird is concerned, the sound coming from the phone is indistinguishable from the owner himself.