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Kea check out objects to solve tricky tasks – In the News

Sarah-Jane O'Connor posted in on September 28th, 2017.

Kea are known for their cleverness and curiosity, but a new study has shown that exploring new objects helps the alpine parrots figure out which to use as tools when faced with a problem. Published in the Royal Society Open Science, the study tested kea and New Caledonian crows by presenting them with a number […]

Kea infectious laughter – In the News

Sarah-Jane O'Connor posted in on March 21st, 2017.

Cheeky behaviour in kea is par for the course, but new research has found that a specific squawk puts kea in a playful mood. The study, published today in Current Biology, found a certain ‘play call’ spurred other kea to engage in playful behaviour, even if no other birds had been playing. The researchers suggest the […]

Kea at risk from lead poisoning

John Kerr posted in on April 4th, 2012.

The kea’s habit of pecking and pulling at curious materials may be exposing the native bird to dangerous amounts of lead from building materials, reports new research. New research in the New Zealand Journal of Ecology surveyed kea from seven areas in South Island New Zealand and found that, of the 88 birds sampled, all […]

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NZ pigeons count in international media

Peter Griffin posted in on December 23rd, 2011.

A New Zealand researcher who showed pigeons can be as good as rhesus monkeys at sorting images of shapes into numerical order has made news around the world, with reports of of the former racing pigeons in Dunedin popping up in the New York Times,  Scientific American and a swathe of TV channels. Though the […]

3 News/NZPA: Kea even more cunning if they get a preview – study

Peter Griffin posted in on August 16th, 2010.

A Japanese university professor has discovered that kea – New Zealand alpine parrots – are even smarter than previously thought. The birds were able to solve complex problems, particularly if given time to ‘study’ the problems before solving them – until now, it was thought that their problem-solving methods were more haphazard. An excerpt: (read […]

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