Category: New

African grey

Inside Pepperberg’s Lab: Mutual Exclusivity in Parrots—A Special Case of Inference

Dr. Irene Pepperberg once again put African grey parrot Griffin to the test in her cognitive behavior research lab. This time around, he was pushed beyond the concept of “inference by exclusion” (inferring where something can be found after being given information about where it is absent) to the trickier concept of mutual exclusivity (ME). Would Griffin understand that an object could, for example, be both “green” and “wool,” or “blue” and “wood?” See if Griffin was able to take his training to the level of his predecessor, Alex the African , and beyond.

Meet the Kea: The “Mountain Parrot”

The Kea parrot of New Zealand fascinates many scientists with its high intelligence and choice of habitat. But the Kea is threatened and perhaps faces extinction.

Female Budgies Prefer Puzzle-Solving Males & Other Bird-Centric News Stories

In this bird-centric news roundup, see the tricky way researchers got female budgies to ditch their preferred mates to those trained to solve puzzles, as well as learn as well as who packs a more powerful bite—T-Rex or finch? Also see how the engineering marvels of a birds’ feathers might one day inspire better adhesives and aerospace materials, and meet Alex the honking cockatiel, the viral sensation that saw his fame inexplicably explode across the internet.

yellow crown amazon parrot

How Good is a Parrot’s Long-Term Memory?

How well do parrots remember situations, other parrots, and people over the course of their long lives? Dr. Pepperberg, gives us a rundown on research that points to parrots as having brain areas that function in ways similar to the human cortex, and how their extremely high neural densities enable advanced cognitive processing—which requires good memory.

African Grey Parrot on a perch

Inside Pepperberg’s Lab: Putting Parrots’ Inferential Knowledge To The Test

When her colleagues at Harvard questioned Dr. Irene Pepperberg’s 2-cup test success that showed parrots are capable of inferential knowledge to make decisions, Pepperberg and students at her cognitive behavior research lab upped the ante from the 2-cup test to 3- and 4-cup tests. They once again put African grey Griffin to the test. See how Griffin fared, especially when a coveted Skittle treat reward was at stake.

blue-fronted Amazon parrot

New Research: Secret to Parrot Intelligence? It’s In Their Genes

Check out what scientists are learning about parrot genes, as well as research on laughter being contagious among parrots, how parrots’ feathers evolved to be to so shiny and how some birds of prey are battling drones in their airspace in this look at this birds in the news compilation.

caique portrait

Could a Pet Parrot Be Happy in Captivity?

Is it possible for a pet parrot to be as happy in captivity as they would be in the wild? Is parrot ownership more like prison … or could it be like a happy, perpetual childhood experience? As a bird mom to three cockatoos and a parrotlet, it is a question with which I wrestle […]

African grey parrot

Inside Pepperberg’s Lab: Fish &  Parrots  Outperform Apes & Monkeys

If you put parrots (specifically, African grey parrots), fish, monkeys and apes to the test on who could figure the fastest way to procure two rewards instead of one, who would come out on top? Dr. Pepperberg and friends of her cognitive behavior research lab recently modeled a test for her flock to see how they would fair in a choice-themed task inspired by wrasse fish, and tested on primates as well.

sulphur-crested cockatoo

Cockatoo “Retires” From The Limelight At Age 82

Frosty, an 82-year-old sulphur-crested cockatoo, recently retired from entertaining audiences at the Sarasota Jungle Gardens. Learn more about this special ‘too who was part of the original “jail birds” trained at Folsom State Prison, and for 40-plus years wowed audiences with his high-wire unicycle tricks and more.

male normal gray cockatiel

New Bird? 5 Ways To Get Off To A Great Start

Have a new bird, or know someone about to welcome a bird into his or her life? Setting a bird up for success as a companion pet has a lot to do with the right interactions. Learn what you should do — and not do — those first few weeks after bringing a pet bird home. Get on the right track with your pet bird, and maintain a mutually respectful relationship for the years ahead with these helpful tips to welcome a new bird into the home.

bird on a fence

Make Your Love of Birds Count

Make your love of birds count this November. Project FeederWatch invites bird fans to partake by watching birds at their feeders for two designated days per week. See what to be on lookout for and how your participation can help birds near and far.

cockatoo

Teach Your Bird to Communicate “Yes” and “No”

We like to make our own choices when it comes to what we eat, what we do for entertainment and everything in between. What if we could extend this power to our parrots — give them the ability to communicate what they want and what they don’t want? Here’s a step-by-step approach to teaching your bird to communicate “Yes” or “No.”

african grey training

Inside Dr. Pepperberg’s Lab: African Grey Parrots Show Self-Control

  Grey parrots may sometimes be impulsive—think about how often you may have had to give your bird multiple timeouts for the same behavior (like chewing on your sunglasses) in a very short time period. However, my students and I have shown that our parrot, Griffin, can actually exhibit quite a bit of self-control. We […]

Zebra Finch

Birds’ Amazing Physical Powers

If you’re a bird lover, you’ll especially find these bird-focused articles worth a read, as they showcase more bird superpowers!

African grey parrot on a perch

Inside Dr. Pepperberg’s Lab: Do Parrots Understand Probability?

To test a parrot’s ability to understand probability, Dr. Irene Pepperberg’s cognitive behavior research lab recently presented African grey parrot Griffin with a task similar to what a 6-8 year-old child might be tasked to do — using three of one item and one of another, if one item was removed, what was the removed item likely to be? Griffin’s answers might surprise you.

Green-winged macaw and cockatoo, red macaw, cockatoo

Healthy Habits We Can Learn From Our Birds

Looking for some healthy habits to try in the year ahead? Good news! Chances are you have your very own health coach living with you right now — look no further than your feathered friend!

Parrot

Newsworthy Bird Stories

Do a Google news search with the key words “parrot” or “bird.” You might be treated to some fascinating and downright entertaining bird stories — perfect topics to read aloud to your pet bird!

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