RESEARCH: Parrots love video chats 

Parrots love video chats, say scientists conducting research on parrot intelligence.  

Scientists have found that parrots need social connection and mental stimulation. They then wondered whether parrots would welcome video chats to satisfy their need for sociability.

Rebecca Kleinberger, a researcher at the Northeastern University in Boston, America, enrolled 18 parrots and their human owners in an unusual experiment to see if the parrots would connect with their owners and other parrots over video calls.

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Emu head feathers

What do the emu head feathers look like?

The Australian Emu (Dromaius novaehollandiae) is a flightless bird in the Casuariidae family of ratites, and a relative of the Ostrich. It is the second tallest bird in the world, after the Ostrich.

The Emu has soft, shaggy feathers, that are mostly brown or flecked with black. In the red desert of Australia, the feathers have a reddish or red-bown colour. It does not fly, but it can run fast – and it flaps its wings as it runs.

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Why is seabird poop good for the environment?

Why is seabird poop good for the environment?

The poop of seabirds is important for the environment, writes Jason Bittel for the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). Jason Bittel writes that seabird droppings – from Penguins and especially flying seabirds – help to fertilize plants, and whole colonies of seabirds depositing their poop can have a positive affect on coral reefs and climate. 

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Monk Parakeets have unique voices so that they can identify each other

Humans have unique voices and can tell the difference between one person’s voice and another person’s voice (most of the time). Our friend next door sounds different from our teacher. 

The Monk Parakeet is the first bird species known to have multiple vocalisations within its colony of individuals, reports New Scientist magazine in February 2023. Having different individual voices in the parakeet colony means that they can tell the difference between their friends and their enemies.

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RESEARCH: Cockatoos can use several tools in a toolkit to retrieve food

Scientists found that cockatoos understand when a job requires a toolkit and multiple tools.

Scientists at the University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna, in Austria, studied Goffin’s Cockatoos (Cacatua goffiniana) from Indonesia, reported the New Scientist LIFE magazine in February 2023.

Antonio Osuna-Mascary, a researcher at the University, said that the cockatoos know when to use more than one tool to retrieve food which, previously, scientists thought only chimpanzees could do. This makes the cockatoos only the second non-human animal to use multiple tools to achieve one task.

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Why do parrots live long lives?

Why do parrots live so long?

Scientists knew that large birds and parrots live long lives, but now a new study reveals the mystery of parrot longevity.

Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Animal Behaviour and the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Germany studied 217 parrot species (half of the known species of parrots), such as the Scarlet Macaw (Ara macao) in South America and the Sulphur-Crested Cockatoo (Cacatua galerita galerita) in Australia. They published their results in March 2022 in Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

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RESEARCH: Long distance travel for migrating birds has disadvantages – a high ‘divorce’ rate

There are some disadvantages of long distance travel for migrating birds says a scientific study.

The New Scientist’s LIFE magazine (November 2022) reports on the high rate of break-ups – ‘divorce’ – in bird species with longer migration routes. But why would there be a high rate of bird divorce?

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