Birds are smart

The smartest birds in the world

For example, crows are more suspicious of new people than ravens. However, they also feel more comfortable in the company of people they have dealt with before, as can be read in a 2015 study that appeared in Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology.

"The crows around here know my face," says McGowan. At first, the birds near the McGowan lab didn't seem to like because he was getting closer to their nests. But ever since he left them healthy snacks, they love him.

“They recognize my car, they recognize my gait, they recognize me ten miles from where they met me before. You are just amazing in this way. "

In 2015, a study was published in the specialist magazine “Animal Behavior”, which not only became well known in specialist circles. In one experiment, researchers put on masks and laid out food in areas of Washington state where crows were found. However, they were holding dead, stuffed crows in their hands.

Almost all of the crows responded by yelling loudly and even warning other crows nearby. When the researchers returned weeks later wearing the same masks - this time with empty hands - the crows harassed them again and watched the area for days.


Although many species of parrots have a knack for mimicking human speech, the African gray parrot is arguably the most capable bird in this regard.

"There's a lot going on in their little walnut brains," says McGowan. "And they live long enough that they can amass a lot of intelligence and memories."

In the 1950s, animal psychologist Irene Pepperberg began teaching English to a gray parrot named Alex. Before he died prematurely in 2007, Alex knew about 100 words, was able to use them in context and had even grasped the concepts of “same”, “different” and “zero”.

Pepperberg is now working at Harvard University with another African gray parrot named Griffin. The animal can already name shapes and colors and is working on the “zero” concept.


Cockatoos are the first animals known to make musical instruments.