Why Are Ravens And Crows The Smartest Birds In The World?

Why Are Ravens And Crows The Smartest Birds In The World?

Their brains may be small, but birds are known to outsmart children and monkeys. Until the 21st century, birds were not generally considered. How clever can you be with a chickpea-sized brain? And only if the intelligence of birds is further scrutinized, these assumptions will be overturned. Studies have shown, for example, that crows make tools, ravens solve puzzles, and parrots have a distinct vocabulary.

Birds make good use of the space allotted for their small brains, using far more neurons than mammals. But what exactly classifies birds as intelligent? Scientists say the definition needs to be broader.

“Being able to fly to Argentina, come back, and land in the same bush, we don’t value such intelligence in many other organisms,” said Kevin McGovan, an expert on crows. says. But if we’re talking about standard intelligence, like imitating human speech or solving problems, “it always comes down to parrots and crows.”


According to McGowan, while members of the raven family (which includes songbirds, ravens, crows, jays, and magpies) are among the most intelligent of birds, common ravens can handle difficult problems. A study published in the journal Science in 2017 revealed that ravens even preplan a behavior believed to be unique to humans and humans’ relatives.

In a simple experiment, scientists taught birds how to access a piece of food with a tool. Within almost 24 hours, they re-selected the vehicle as they were taught when they were presented with the vehicles to choose from and completed the task. “Monkeys couldn’t solve tasks like this,” said Mathias Osvath, a researcher at Sweden’s Lund University, in an earlier interview.

Why Are Ravens And Crows The Smartest Birds In The World?

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Although they can pass the intelligence test just as well as ravens, McGowan emphasized that crows have an interesting memory where they do not forget the human face, and they can remember a particular person, especially if they are a threat to them. “They seem to have a good sense of how every person is different and that they should approach them differently.”

For example; According to a study published in 2015 in the journal Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, crows are more attentive to new people than ravens, but are more comfortable with people they’ve interacted with before. “They know my car, they know my walk, they know me from 10 miles away,” McGowan said. They’re just incredible. “says.

Gray African Parrots

While many parrot species have a tendency to human speech, the African gray parrot is the most successful among them. “There’s so much going on in their walnut-sized brains,” McGowan says. “They live very long and can accumulate a lot of information and memories.” In the 1950s, Harvard comparative psychologist Irene Pepperberg began teaching English sounds to African gray parrot Alex.

Before Alex died, he worked on hundreds of words, able to use them in context and even understand concepts like “same, different, and zero.” Now Pepperberg is working with another African gray parrot, the Griffin, at Harvard University. Griffin can classify shapes and colors and is working on the concept of zero.


Cockatoos were the first animals to produce musical instruments. When courting, male palm cockatoos of Australia use twigs and seed pods to make drumsticks. Every man has his own musical style. They create their own rhythm by banging their instruments on hollow trees.

Big-Tailed Blackbird

The great-tailed blackbird is a member of the same family as orioles and blackbirds, and is generally considered not to be intelligent. When the ravens and crows were presented to the tests, the big-tailed blackbirds passed the tests successfully.

According to research published in PeerJ in 2016, big-tailed blackbirds were given a puzzle with a food prize. Not only did they learn to solve problems, but when the rules of the puzzle changed, the birds’ strategies adapted. Moreover, each bird approached the puzzle differently, demonstrating the “individual thinking styles” they share with humans.

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