The bullfinch may be smart, but the smartest birds on Earth are the crows.
(Mirror Daily, United States) – According to the latest research, city birds are healthier and smarter than their rural peers. The results of the study were, indeed, surprising seeing as cities are more polluted and don’t offer an excellent home for the winged street performers.
The latest article published in the Behavioral Ecology journal shows that city birds are healthier and smarter than their rural counterparts. This superiority may be given by the fact that city birds are forced to face many more dangers than rural ones.
The study’s lead author and Ph.D. student in the biology department of McGill University, Jean-Nicolas Audet, claims to have gotten the idea of the survey while eating at a Barbados restaurant one afternoon.
The Ph.D. student was enjoying his meal while also constantly shooing away the Barbados bullfinches who were trying to steal his food. He stopped to ponder about the bullfinch situation and realized that only the city birds act like ruthless, fearless thieves.
In order to see whether or not this is a city bird attribute and if it is linked to the degree of intelligence, Audet gathered a team of researchers at McGill University and started analyzing samples taken from both environments.
The team tested the birds multiple times. The winged creatures were placed in different situations where they had to use their brains in order to get to the food.
One of the challenges consisted in retrieving food from a closed drawer. Another forced the winged creatures to slide jars from shelves, or even distinguished the color of individual buttons. The researchers also measured the degree of their neophobia (the fear of new things) by placing strange items in their cage and measuring the amount of time it took them to get familiar with the objects.
According to the results of the study, city birds are healthier and smarter than rural ones, but the latter are more capable of familiarizing themselves with new objects than the city dwellers.
But this is not the first time researchers studied the intelligence of a winged creature. Crows, who are recognized as the smartest birds in the world, were proven to be able to remember and acknowledge the face of a person, and they can even pass on information from one generation to another.
In fact, German scientists discovered that a murder is capable of interpreting traffic lights. The crows were seen gathering nuts from trees, waiting for the go-ahead and then dropping the nuts at the feet of the cars. When the lights turned red again, and the cars weren’t moving, they would descend and eat the interior of the nuts.
The only thing that truly surprised the researchers is the fact that the city birds are healthier than their rural counterparts. But then again, they do eat more.
Image source: Pixabay