Bird Intelligence

Birds may have small brains, but many of them are just as smart as primates, including your kids.

March 28, 2021

Listen to the Episode

Bird Intelligence


Our understanding of bird brains and intelligence has grown tremendously in the last couple decades.

Thanks to countless scientific studies, we now know that many bird species are highly intelligent. Some of them perform better than primates, dogs, and young children on certain cognitive tests.

In this episode, we look at how intelligence is defined and some evidence for it in birds. We have a look at the avian brain and consider how intelligence evolved in birds.

Which birds are the smartest? Which birds are numbskulls? Have a listen and find out!

Links of Interest

Research Citations

Photos of Some Species Mentioned

Green Bee-eater (Merops orientalis). Photo by Cezary Wojtkowski/Adobe
New Caledonian Crows (Corvus moneduloides). Photo by CM/Flickr.
Kea (Nestor notabilis). Photo by Ivan Phillipsen.
Great Tit (Parus major). Photo by Piotr Krzeslak/Adobe.


This work by Ivan Phillipsen is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 4.0

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