Recently released intelligence documents pertaining to the cold war reveal how information was obtained from enemy operatives by parrot. The standard gift from one spy to another was a parrot, but up until now the significance of this has been a mystery. It transpires that the parrots were in fact trained to listen and repeat everything they heard … a fact that somehow eluded the enemy. The Russian spies were so fond of the birds that they took them everywhere; to secret meetings, to the toilet, on family holidays, even to jazz bars. Hence the iconic image of a Russian spy as a man with a parrot on his shoulder. Operation Polly was the brainchild of Jackson Paxton, an animal trainer and all-round martial arts/intelligence/ladies man working for the CIA. He knew that parrots weren’t just pretty birds with unsettling thick black tongues. He alone knew that they had the ability to repeat what people said, and he used this secret knowledge to infiltrate the KGB and save lives. What a guy!
The parrots were destroyed as they were unable to stop talking. Casualties of war. They were awarded a special medal in honour of their services … The Purple Cuttlefish!