Fun-lov­ing par­rots

BBC Wildlife Magazine - - Kea -

As some of the world’s most in­tel­li­gent birds, kea are ex­tremely in­quis­i­tive, ap­pear to en­joy prob­lem-solv­ing and en­gage in play­ful ac­tiv­i­ties, seem­ingly for fun – qual­i­ties that en­dear them to us yet bring them into con­flict. In one ex­am­ple, kea were caught on cam­era mov­ing traf­fic cones around the road out­side Homer Tun­nel in Fiord­land Na­tional Park. To lure the birds away from the dan­ger­ous road, the De­part­ment of Con­ser­va­tion built a ‘kea gym’ us­ing ob­jects the birds could take apart and climb on. At the ‘Kea Lab’ in Aus­tria, a cap­tive flock of around 30 kea takes part in ex­per­i­ments de­signed to help re­searchers learn more about how birds ac­quire knowl­edge and ap­ply logic.

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