R2-D2 Impression by a Talented European Starling

By Irmak Bayrakdar
Submitted by Michael Frankfort @mfrank_76

A talented European Starling does the perfect R2-D2 impression

The force is strong with this bird.

It’s hard to deny — This little bird sounds exactly like R2-D2. 

The bird in question is a European starling, and these little creatures are known to be excellent mimics among the world’s bird species. They can recreate pretty much any sound they hear, including a cat’s meow, a dog’s bark, or in this case, a droid’s sound effects.

Starling’s superior mimicry skills

What’s unique about this species of bird? The European starling, also known as the common starling, is a highly vocal bird. The singers are usually male, though female starlings are known to sing on some occasions.

In the wild, the birds are very chatty and make a lot of noise while roosting and bathing. While each bird has its own unique repertoire of songs, older males tend to have a larger repertoire featuring more extended, more complex compositions. And females tend to prefer mates with more complex songs.

In the case of Jabber, his owner is probably a Star Wars fan, and the little bird has been hearing the famous droid‘s bleep and bloop-laden method of speech for some time.

While Jabber’s vocal impressions make for a lovely watch, coming across starlings out in the woods and hearing them call out random sentences with perfectly accurate human intonation would undoubtedly be a spine-chilling experience.

R2-D2’s voice was sound designer Ben Burtt’s voice, mixed with an analog synthesizer and other effects.