Here’s an interesting brief article with video on the intelligence of the kea, the mountain parrot of New Zealand. When I was there, I had a ball watching these birds. They play like kittens. The video is quite cool, and is narrated by David Attenborough. It’s just under 10 minutes and well worth it. Apparently, their intelligence may rival monkeys.

Smart Parrot Gets Smarter

I am impressed. I think David Attenborough is right about them being better at problem solving than some monkeys. They certainly seemed faster at it. I was surprised there wasn’t a discussion of whether the birds share the prize when they cooperate. Perhaps more testing needs to be done regarding learning which birds trust each other or whether all are trustworthy and whether sharing of the prize is required in cooperation.

P.S. Next time you call someone a birdbrain, beware that it may be a compliment, especially for some.

UPDATE: I found part 3 of 3 on youtube, but still can’t find part 2 of 3. If you find the middle section of this video, please post the link. Your real email is not required, if you don’t want to use your real email, just enter a@b.c or some such.

3 Responses to Birdbrains!

  1. Kerberos says:

    I think birds are very intelligent.
    I’ve witnessed crows get wall-nuts fly to a stoplight and throw the nuts to the pavement, wait for a passing car and dinner is served.

  2. Very cool behavior on the part of the crows. It’s not all that surprising to me. I’ve read a lot on the subject. Crows have not only been observed making tools in the wild, generally hooks, they cache particularly good ones for later reuse.

  3. Kerberos says:

    I didn’t know that Kea’s worked so cooperative & diligently together, which shows a high mark of intelligence.
    I mean, wow!
    I guess I have a birdbrain too.
    Thanks Scott, that was super!

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