Parrots are by far considered the most amusing house pets. Singing and chirping, talking and making antics all day long, a feathered friend is sure to put a smile on anyone’s face. But it would seem that the common parrot is far more intelligent than we’ve come to understand. The mystery behind parrots using tools was debunked showing that they can actually have the same tenacity as humans when it comes to solving puzzles.
The study has been conducted by a joint team of psychologists from the New York and Saint Andrew’s Universities. The research endeavor was focused in the parrot’s initiative of using certain tools in order to scrape off calcium from seashells.
As to the reason why the birds are using tools in order to get their calcium from seashells, the scientists are still uncertain. Most of them tend to believe that the seashells play a significant role in the bird’s mating ceremony.
The team drew their conclusions after studying ten parrots kept in captivity. According to their observations, only male member of the vasa greater parrots species were seen using tools in order to scrape off calcium from various seashells. But, that’s only one point of view.
Several papers on biology have reached the conclusion that only three species of parrots are able to use tools in order to reach their food. These tool-wielding species include the Kea, a parrot found mainly in New Zeeland. Also, the Cacatua goffiniana, another species closely similar to the Cockatoo parrot is able to use small sticks and cobbles in order to fashion rakes. And last, but not least, Anodorhynchus hyacinthinus or the Hyacinth Macaw has been observed on several occasions when he was using several fashioned tools to break hard nuts.
The mystery behind parrots using tools was debunked, as scientists are led to believe that the calcium scraped off the seashells play a key role in mating and egg-laying habits.
Also, it has been determined that besides humans, the greater vasa parrot is the only animal who’s using grinding tools in order to get calcium from a seashell. Moreover, it would seem that process is ampler than it seems. The bird would look for any abrasive agents like sharp sticks of cobbles to use when scrapping a seashell.
In order to see what happens during their mating, the scientist has taken upon themselves to monitor the birds from March until April. According to their reports, the psychologists observed this behavior only on male parrots that were kept in captivity.