Daily Mail

Who’s a clever seabird? Gulls as smart as parrots

- By Xantha Leatham Health and Science Reporter

GULLS could be as smart as parrots when it comes to getting a hold of food, a study has found.

Renowned for snatching chips from unwary visitors to the seaside, the birds possess the skills to solve problems in order to earn a treat, according to researcher­s at the University of Newfoundla­nd in Canada.

They analysed wild ring-billed gulls, pictured – which can sometimes be found in Britain – to see if they could ‘work out’ that pulling on a string would draw a small piece of sausage out of a clear box. A quarter solved the test within three attempts, while one in five got it the first time. Jessika Lamarre, author of the report published in the Royal Society journal, said it’s the first example of a waterbird solving the string-pull test. Most species to complete the task are perching birds or parrots, which are renowned for their intelligen­ce.

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