A New Zealand Parrot That Has an Incredible Capacity for Understanding Probabilities and Social Cues

The parrots that understand probabilities

Researchers at the University of Auckland have discovered that the native New Zealand species of alpine parrot, known as Kea, has an incredible capacity for understanding probabilities and social cues. After performing several experiments that tested intelligence abilities, the researchers determined that the kea is not only one smart bird, but they can perform certain tasks as well, or better than monkeys.

The kea is a particularly intelligent species of parrot from New Zealand. Now, research suggests that these birds might be smarter than anyone expected, even outperforming monkeys in some tasks. These kea can use probabilities to predict which hand a black token is most likely to be in based on where the token is picked from and on who is doing the picking, even combining information from different contexts.

Lori Dorn
Lori Dorn

Lori is a Laughing Squid Contributing Editor based in New York City who has been writing blog posts for over a decade. She also enjoys making jewelry, playing guitar, taking photos and mixing craft cocktails.