Avian experts believe that African Grey Parrots are one of the most intelligent bird species in the world. These birds pose the same level of intelligence as toddlers to some extent.
Yes, they boast a complex cognition, superior memory, and vocal skill that keep them way ahead of the rest of the animal species.
So, the question is, why are African grey parrots so smart? What works behind their insane IQ level?
The genes African grey parrots inherit play a crucial role in the development of their brains. In essence, all parrots achieve a highly evolved genome sequence with time. This helps them learn the language, memorize things, and associate spatial awareness. They become more creative and intelligent through evolution.
Related Blog: Why Do African Greys Pluck Their Feathers? Read more
Anyway, if you wanna get an in-depth insight into African greys’ behavioral traits, let’s read this article thoroughly. We will start this section by describing parrots’ brain facts first, and later on, we will slowly delve into other mesmerizing factors.
Parrot Brain Facts
African greys have quite a similar brain structure to us humans. After conducting a study, some researchers found that parrots have an enlarged medial spiriform nucleus circuit, which passes messages between the cortex and cerebellum.
Parrots can imitate what they hear by using these two parts of their brain. Parrots can talk profoundly because of this asymmetrical brain, and their left hemisphere helps them achieve such an ability.
Furthermore, this brain section lets them move around various environments, merge or split from others of the same species, forage in small groups, and so on. In short, parrots had to adapt to the changes through evolution. They learned languages, memorized vocabulary, and more for survival.
However, you will be surprised to know that this kind of brain structure of parrots is similar to our primates, only found in comparatively more intelligent species than mammals and other creatures.
Researchers have also discovered that African greys boast an advanced genome sequence region containing the genetic information of a living organism, which helps them achieve problem-solving abilities and acquire human-like qualities.
How Intelligent Are African Greys?
Parrot species that have the most cognitive capacity are African greys. They can recognize shapes and colors and are excellent at solving puzzle games, quite interesting!
Although pet African-greys face difficulties reaching their full cognitive potential, they perform well when they receive training from avian experts. They are even capable of learning the most impressive tricks on their own under the right circumstances.
Another interesting behavior that African greys pose is that they are prone to be stereotyped, which is, in essence, a series of neurotic behaviors. They exhibit these behaviors when they are stressed or going through any trauma.
Yes, they do get stressed easily because they are so emotional. Some researchers believe that their stress sensitivity is quite similar to humans.
They vocalize human-like crying when experiencing grief, and they lose their appetites and pluck their feathers. These are some of their actions when they are sad, afraid, and depressed.
Do African Greys Understand What They Say?
Mostly, they don’t have any idea of what they are saying. But one recent study shows that some highly trained African greys have learned to understand what they are saying.
How Self-Aware Are African Greys?
According to research, African greys have the same level of cognitive ability as four to six-year-old children. That’s why they can identify objects by color, material, shape, and number. On top of that, they can also learn up to 1000 words.
Some researchers believe that these feathered animals can be highly conscious and pose self-awareness besides being so bright.
Do African Greys Pass The Mirror Test?
African greys were tested to determine their reactions when placed in front of a mirror in an event. Then, researchers have found that they don’t recognize their own reflection.
Instead, they act differently, assuming that another bird is in front of them.
Can African Grey Parrots Recognize Faces?
Due to their survival needs, parrots need to be innovative to recognize people’s faces and differentiate between human voices. The birds can determine who they can trust and who they cannot.
Another significant fact regarding African greys is that they can recall memories. So, if you pet them and give them to other owners, these smarties will remember your actions and act accordingly. Maybe they will miss you in your absence.
Will Your African Grey Friend Fly Away?
You may have seen parrots walking around in their owners’ arms when they were taken outside and believed that they wouldn’t fly away, leaving their owners alone on the street.
Sorry to disappoint you, if parrots get the opportunity to go, they will fly away. For your information, no bird will love to be kept in captivity.
How Smart African Greys Compared To Different Animals?
As you already know, parrots are distinct and intelligent; they can mimic human speech, associate meaningful words, and form simple sentences.
This ability makes them smarter than jays, crows, and ravens, even though they belong to the same corvid family.
Not only that, but parrots can also beat dogs and cats in the intelligence test. Their excellent memory and communication skills can perform better than those aforementioned animals in standard pet intelligence tests.
So, these are some of the mesmerizing facts regarding African greys and their smartness.
Now you know why African Greys are so smart, what makes them one of the most talented talking and mimicking birds on this planet. Their unique ability makes bird enthusiasts and avian experts go after them.
They are the birds with alluring beauty and no-nonsense attitude, keeping them at the peak of popularity. Anyway, if you wanna pet one or already have one, make sure you know how to help them gain the full potential of their cognitive ability.
Image credit: istockphoto.com