Parrots are very good at impersonating sounds. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 3.0 Maurice van Bruggen
A parrot with the uncanny ability to replicate the sound of a fire alarm prompted an emergency call-out recently.
Named Jazz, the 17-year-old African grey parrot quickly picked up the sound of his owner Steve Dockerty's smoke alarm after it kept going off due to a technical fault.
So convincing was the impression in fact that it ended up fooling the alarm operator over the phone.
"Every time the alarm goes off I get a call from the wardens and sometimes it goes off for no good reason," said Steve. "This time they asked me if everything was ok and I said it was but they could hear Jazz in the background and called the fire service as a precaution."
When firefighters arrived at the house they swept the premises for signs of a fire. It wasn't until the cheeky parrot did its impression again that they realized what had happened.
"He's a cheeky sod and likes to imitate things," said Steve. "He imitated the smoke alarm so well that they called the fire brigade. All the while, Jazz was sitting in his cage laughing his socks offs."