Parrotlets Are the Smartest Parrots.*

*According to my personal opinion highly in-depth research. Cough.

Actually, I stumbled across an article called Problem Solving Parrots, which begins to suggest that parrotlets are highly intelligent (though owners don’t need scientists to tell us that). Certainly they more than held their ground against cockatoos, lorikeets, and green-winged macaws. Indeed, the spectacled parrotlets of the study were the only ones able to solve the most complicated tests. From the article linked above:

Spectacled parrotlets performed best of the four species tested and they live in what’s known as a fission-fusion society. These birds live in large groups where they form different social sub-units that split and merge, providing the opportunity for many different kinds of social interactions. They are also the only one of the four species tested to form crèches where young birds pass through the socialization process.

Green-winged macaws and sulphur-crested cockatoos live in small, stable family groups centered around a breeding pair and their offspring. These species failed tests four and five.

Basically, the study examines  the relationship between intelligence in foraging ability and social structure in flocks. While parrotlets use their highly complex social structure, cockatoos keep to smaller family units that focus on raising young. Parrotlets were the only species in the study able to solve the fifth test.

As an additional example of how awesome they are, we know that p’lets name their babies.

I’ve posted this video before, but it’s well worth another watch, I think! To quickly sum it up, ornithologists  at Cornell University have found that parrots’ names are not biological; they are derived in the nest. Cornell scientists discovered in the study that not only do they have their own names, they can share and learn other birds’ names, too, and use them in context.

So yes, they’re are incredible creatures, and now the science confirms it. 😛

Celestial (Pacific) Parrotlet.

4 thoughts on “Parrotlets Are the Smartest Parrots.*

Add yours

  1. Cool! I just posted that video too. I’d been sitting on that post for a year and for some reason never published it. I dug it out of the archives this week. I’m glad someone else thinks p’lets are amazing too!


    1. Yeah, I love, love, love that video, and can’t watch it too many times! Parrotlets are one of my favourites. I just have a particular affinity for small birds, though, haha. Thanks for stopping by!


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