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Reflections on Avian Intelligence, part II — The Mid-Sized Psittacines

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Complete Psittacine by Eb Cravens

In the world of parrots, there are so many different intellects. Each species has evolved under certain environmental conditions, becoming genetically programmed to eat special foods, mate with its own kind, co-exist with birds of various other genera, not to mention reptiles, mammals, insects and the like. Psittacine brainpower, coupled with bodily conditioning, allows select individuals in the wild to survive, to prosper, to reproduce.

Size has little predictable effect on mental prowess in hookbills. It does not matter that a Great Green Macaw skull can harbour a brain many times the size of a Tahitian Lorikeet. Indeed, were I to speculate, I would venture that many of the largest psittacines have less need of lightening-sharp intelligence because they have fewer dangers that could not be overcome with brute strength.

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