As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Thursday, 29 March 2018

Nevermore Underestimate the Intelligence of Birds



BY STEPHANIE MLOT 03.16.2018 :: 12:00PM EDT

Long thought to be dim-witted and foolish, our feathered friends are more capable than we assumed.

Crows can make tools, ravens can solve puzzles, and parrots can speak with a diverse vocabulary.

Birds, in fact, pack a lot of intellect into a very small space; their brains consist of more neurons than mammals, according to National Geographic. And it’s about time we give them the credit they deserve.

“Being able to fly to Argentina, come back, and land in the same bush—we don’t value that intelligence in a lot of other organisms,” Kevin McGowan, an expert on crows at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, said in a statement to NatGeo. “We’ve restricted the playing field to things we think only we can do.”

When it comes to mimicking human speech or solving problems, though, “it always comes down to parrots and corvids,” McGowan said.

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