Smartest Birds In The World

Smartest Birds In The World

Wondering which birds are the smartest of them all? Then keep on reading!

The Smartest Birds

When you think about all of the animals in the world, you quickly realize that birds are, in fact, amongst some of the most intelligent creatures we have on Earth. Although there are more than 10,000 bird species worldwide, only a handful of them have made the list for extremely talented and incredibly intelligent. So who are these super intelligent feathered friends? It’s not easy to really say who is number one or number 2, or to choose the smartest and brightest of them all. But this blog gives you an overview, of what birds have made the top of the list in most bird intelligence studies around the world. So sit back and be amazed how smart some of our feathered friends really are!


Crows are among the most intelligent animals on earth.

Crows are black birds known for their intelligence and adaptability, and for their loud, harsh “caw.” They also have a reputation for damaging crops; however, their impact may be less than previously thought. The genus Corvus comprises crows, ravens and rooks. These birds are all part of the Corvidae family, which includes jays, magpies and nutcrackers. When it comes to intelligence, Crows should probably be at the top of the list, or close to it. Many scientists think that crows just may be among the most intelligent birds on earth. This intelligent rating is based on their ability to solve problems, make tools as well as consider both future events and other individuals’ states of mind. In addition to Crows making customize tools, they understand causality, can reason, count up to five and remember human faces. In Israel, Wild Hooded Crows actually use bread crumbs to catch fish. In Norway and Sweden they have been seen dragging fishing lines out of water to get the hooked fish. They are second only to humans in intelligence — even smarter than apes in some research tests. And what’s also impressive is that their brain-to-body weight ratio is equal to that of the great apes and cetaceans (whales, dolphins, porpoises) and just slightly lower than in humans.


Next on the list of smartest birds in the world is the Kea. The kea is a species of large parrot in the family Nestoridae found in the forested and alpine regions of the South Island of New Zealand. About 48 cm long, it is mostly olive-green with a brilliant orange under its wings and has a large, narrow, curved, grey-brown upper beak.The Kea has been enlisted by many as the worlds most intelligent bird among top ten intelligent birds. The Kea is found in New Zealand and it is basically a parrot. This extremely intelligent bird knows how to be very crafty when it comes to finding or stealing food.The troublesome native parrot, is known as the ‘Clown of the Alps’ and can cause havoc with many things (especially cars) and has proved to be as clever as some of the smartest animals on the planet. In some intelligence tests carried out by a Canterbury University masters student, kea outscored gibbons – and anthropoid apes which are part of the primate family.

Kea: The Clever Clown of the Alps – Milford Sound


Another bird we have up in our list are the Jays.

Blue Jays are one of the smartest birds you’ll see visiting your feeder. As for Blue Jays, there’s still much more to learn and discover, as we don’t know the full extent of their intelligence. However, research so far suggests the Blue Jay is no “birdbrain.” Here are three things we know about Blue Jays that prove their smarts:

Blue Jays can imitate the sounds in their environments, and one thing they mimic is hawk calls. Researchers believe they do this to warn other jays in their family and flock that danger is near. However, Blue Jays don’t shy away from using this ability to their advantage. Some backyard birders have caught jays making this sound to scare off songbirds at the feeder so they can get the feeding station to themselves!

So far, no one has documented Blue Jays using tools in the wild. However, in at least one laboratory setting, Blue Jays were seen ripping pieces of the newspaper lining in their cages, using these strips to help them access out-of-reach food pellets. This suggests when they have the right motivation, Blue Jays have an aptitude for tools. Many Jays avoid eating ants because they taste, well, awful. That bitter taste comes from the ant’s self-defense strategy: When it detects a threat, a gland releases a noxious formic acid that covers the ant’s body. However, Blue Jays found a workaround. They carefully rub the insect on their feathers, a process that birders refer to as anting, to remove the bitter-tasting substance before eating.

Blue Jay | Audubon Field Guide


Last on our list of smartest birds are the Cockatoos

A cockatoo is any of the 21 parrot species belonging to the family Cacatuidae, the only family in the superfamily Cacatuoidea. Along with the Psittacoidea and the Strigopoidea, they make up the order Psittaciformes.

Cockatoos are recognizable by the showy crests and curved bills. These extremely social birds have endearing personalities and great speaking abilities. As a part of their extreme intelligence, is their ability to imitate a wide variety of sounds and speech. But more than that, when scientists performed intelligent tests with the captive bred Goffin’s cockatoo they learned they are able to actually resist the temptation of eating a food item put in front of them in order to trade it for a better reward later.
This reaction mirrored a famous experiment in the U.S. 40 years ago when nursery school children were put in a room and given a marshmallow, biscuit or pretzel stick. They could either eat it right away or wait 15 minutes and get an extra treat. On average they are larger than most other parrots.

Cockatoos of Australia


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