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Colin Wight reports
"Vi has a distinctive north east accent and Cha Cha repeats almost everything she says."
 real 56k

Wednesday, 18 July, 2001, 16:26 GMT 17:26 UK
Exotic birds go native
Stanley and Vi Hawkins
Stanley and Vi Hawkins with Cha Cha and Salsa
Two exotic parrots have been displaying how they have gone native by talking to each other in Aberdeen's distinctive Doric dialect.

Cha Cha and Salsa may hail from South Africa and South America but when they talk it is in the broad north east Scotland accent of their owner Vi Hawkins.

Mrs Hawkins, 65, and her husband Stanley treat their parrots more like children than pets.

And Mrs Hawkins said that the birds respond by repeating her every word.

Salsa and Cha Cha
Salsa and Cha Cha: Pretty loons
She said that she has taught the parrots many rhymes in Doric.

Five-year-old male parrot Cha Cha is the star pupil.

She said: "He kens hundreds of phrases. He kens little rhymes. Like he'll say: 'On yonder hill there stood a coo/The cooks got it - now it's stew'."

Mrs Hawkins said she was amazed when Cha Cha started to ask "Fit like" (How are you?) and reply "Nae bad, yersel?" (Not bad, yourself?).

Cha Cha also knows how to ask for his favourite treats by saying: "Kin I hae ay biscuit."

Mrs Hawkins said: "People don't believe what they are capable of saying and they talk from morning until night."

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