Of course, birds have a brain. All animals have a brain. I mean who wouldn’t know that? So, when I read the article, “Birdbrain is a misnomer: new studies show birds’ remarkable cognitive skills,” published in Time Magazine (August 21, 2017), I just had to check it out. This is what I discovered:
There are three families of birds that research reveals as being most intelligent and they are the Corvids, Psttacidae, and the Cacatuidae. Personally, I can pronounce the first bird family mentioned but not the other two. But, that’s okay, since I’m not reading this article to anyone.
The birds that are in the Corvid family are crows, ravens, jays, magpies, rooks, and other species. When it comes to crows, this bird has been known as a toolmaker. It can reshape a paper clip into a hook so it can fish a treat out of a narrow vessel.
Another example from the Corvid family is a rook. A rook has learned how to drop pebbles into a partly filled pitcher, in order to raise the water level, and then snag treats floating on the surface.
Now, when it comes to oral communication, the Psttacidae family is well-known for having this skill. The parrots, parakeets, lovebirds, and kea are examples of birds found in this family. The most known for having the ability to mimic and even understand human speech is the parrot.
Irene Pepperberg, a comparative psychologist of Harvard University, became famous with the work she did with Alex the parrot. This remarkable parrot died in 2007 at the age of 3 with a vocabulary of more than 100 words. Also, Alex had the ability to assemble words into simple sentences. His last words spoken to Ms. Pepperberg, as she was covering his cage for the evening were, “You be good, see you tomorrow. I love you.” I’m sure those last words she would always treasure, because I know I would.
Karl Berg, a professor of avian ecology at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, has been recording parrot calls as part of a study to determine if these birds have a complex vocabulary. If so, then these birds are able to convey information about food, predators, mating, and other relevant matters.
Personally, I believe these birds are that intelligent! Realistically, we know that all animals must be able to communicate on some level of frequency.
Check out this video clip about Alex the Parrot: