While it’s unknown exactly how much birds actually understand death, they do possess the capacity to mourn. They have the same brain areas, hormones, and neurotransmitters as we do, “so they too can feel what we feel,” says John Marzluff, a professor of avian social ecology and wildlife science at the University of Washington.
Many pets are aware of their owner’s absence, and grieve the loss of a close human companion. Their sudden absence can be stressful for the animal and they may begin to act differently after their owner passes by not eating or sleeping like they used to.
In the video below, you’ll see a parrot visiting their dying owner. The two of them have been together for 25 years, so it’s clear that they share a very special bond. Their interaction in the video definitely depicts their close relationship. You can hear the woman mumble “I love you” several times to her beloved pet. Once she starts talking, the parrot inches his way closer to her, as if he knows that it’s time to say one last goodbye.
Watch their final goodbye for yourself in the video below, but make sure you have a box of tissues with you first!