Mith and his keyboard
Mith has now had his keyboard
for about three months, and I have had friends
with parrots ask a number of questions about
Mith and his keyboard. Does he use it?
Yes, frequently throughout the day. The keyboard
program keeps track of which keys he hits, how
often, and when, so we can get a good idea of
his use of it throughout the day. He never seems
to tire of it, perhaps because we can change
What happens when Mith presses
a key? Well, that depends on what mode
he's in. We have several modes set currently
in the program, and changing modes involves
just selecting one from a dropdown menu.
In one mode, Mith sees pictures
of family members, and hears them saying phrases
like "What a pretty bird you are!"
and "I can say 'Hello'; can you say 'Hello'?"
In another mode, he sees pictures of animals,
and hears (for example) "This is the dog.
The dog says 'Woof!'"
It is very easy to create new
modes just by uploading pictures and sounds
into a new folder. The software interface is
very (human) user-friendly.
We have noticed that Mith definitely
uses the phrases he hears on the keyboard more often,
perhaps because it is interactive. The keyboard might
be the only useful method (besides just talking to
Mith) that I have seen that actually seems to teach
him to use new phrases.
Interested in having
a keyboard for your birds?
Can we make a keyboard for
your bird? Yes, as soon as we figure out
how much to charge for the keyboard and software.
We are working on that now, and expect to be
able to fulfill the requests we have been getting
for keyboards in the near future.
The keyboard is interesting enough to
other birds that we have seen Prospero (our Blue &
Gold Macaw) watching Mith intently when he's using
it, and repeating the phrases that the program produces.
At some point, we intend to set up a
web site just for birds, with lots of different images
and sounds for them to experience. When that happens,
a bird with a keyboard will be able to surf that site,
and enjoy a variety of sights and sounds all on his/her
Please feel free to email us with any
questions, or to get on a list of people who want
to get a keyboard for their birds once we get the
marketing stuff figured out. You can reach us at: