Equally able to learn French,
German, Latin, Greek... capable of saying lengthy sentences, can imitate
sounds and accents.
(Translated by Franko Pavicevac)
Nina and Rico Ciceran, parents of the writer, had two
talking starlings - Mickey
and Skippy (pictured with mom in 1992). Skippy, the older, was a
genuine talker and had a large vocabulary, all in mother's voice.
Mickey, on the other hand, initially learned to "speak" from his
rather than from humans, so his speech was combined with bird-like sounds.
Skippy used to say such things as "hello", "give mommy a
kiss", "bel piccolo de mamma" and "non staghe
dir". Mickey's favorite phrase was
"I love you".
Skippy lived to the ripe age of 12, and Mickey surpassed him by one year
when he left us in June 2002. He was active up to his last days, and
took his ritual morning bath in the kitchen sink with mom providing a
terry curtain in front of him to stop some of the splashing that
went all over the kitchen.
Starlings are intelligent and affectionate, and they
are widely known to make wonderful pets. In fact, they are sometimes
referred to as "the poor man's mynah bird".