Who’s the Smartest Bird? – Birds.com

Which bird species is the most intelligent? Many researchers believe that the most intelligent birds are found in the Corvid family (ravens, crows, magpies and jays). These social birds show advanced problem-solving skills, both in the lab and in the wild.

For instance, a raven was observed putting a cork in a tub’s drain, so that water pooled up for a bath. A group of crows in Japan put hard-to-crack nuts out on the road, so that cars can smash them open.

Another corvid, the Clark’s Nutcracker, has an impressive memory- also considered a sign of intelligence. It buries about 30,000 seeds each fall, caching them all through 200 square miles of forest. The bird is able to remember where at least 90% of the buried seeds are- it uses them for winter food.

Other researchers (and parrot owners) consider parrots to be the most intelligent bird. In the wild, they need to be smart. They must remember the locations of many different fruit trees, and know when the trees will be fruiting. They also need problem-solving skills to pry open difficult seeds. This tendency for problem-solving makes them entertaining pets- they are constantly playing with new objects, and learning new words and songs.

One researcher studies the remarkable intelligence of African Grey parrots. One particular African Grey, Alex, can identify & name over 40 objects, seven colors, and can count up to six. He uses 100 words to answer questions, or ask for what he wants.