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Exploring Bird Intelligence

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Parrots such as the African Grey can repeat hundreds of words.  Astonishingly, they actually understand the meanings of many words, and will speak them in appropriate context.

The Scrub Jay stashes food in dozens of hiding spots and accurately remembers each location.  These birds are smart enough to move food if they notice another jay watching, showing they can imagine another bird's motives.

Crows can improvise tools from bits of wire to obtain food -- and can pick up the trick by watching other crows.

Birds are communication experts -- through the mastery of songs, or the body language of displayed feathers and courtship dances.

They have better eyesight and quicker reflexes than humans, and some of them have even longer life spans.  Interested? There's a lot more!  Click any link above for stories of avian intellect!

  A starling plays with an aluminum foil ball.

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Brazil has 25 critically endangered bird species -- many illegally trapped for the pet bird trade.



Irene Pepperberg writes about how her scientific interest in African Gray Parrots turned personal.

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