Flighty brainiacs

By Connie Orcutt • Published: September 1st, 2016
Category: Animal Airwaves

For those with parrot companions, their feathered friends’ IQ is old news. They experience it every day firsthand. But for anyone else, the intellectual feats of these flighty brainiacs may be surprising.

Goffin’s cockatoos — parrots from Indonesia — are feathered MacGyvers. Not only do they dream up and create tools on the spot — but also they can assemble devices after just one viewing of another parrot completing the same task.

In Costa Rica, populations of native yellow-naped Amazon parrots from different regions have unique dialects. While young Amazons are adept at learning the various tongues, older parrots either cannot or just don’t want to be bothered. But once different groups can communicate, they share tips on finding their favorite fruiting trees.

So next time you call someone a birdbrain, consider that when it comes to parrots, that’s a real compliment.