Learning and Social Behavior in Parrots

A special issue of Animals (ISSN 2076-2615). This special issue belongs to the section "Birds".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (7 June 2024) | Viewed by 443

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Kea Lab, Messerli Research Institute, University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna, Vienna, Austria
Interests: animal cognition; vocal development; parrot behavior; parrot learning; parrot sociality

E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Kea Lab, Messerli Research Institute, University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna, Vienna, Austria
Interests: animal cognition; parrot behavior; parrot learning; parrot sociality; bird ecology

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Parrots have gained attention in the past three decades in cognitive and behavioral research due to their excellent abilities in solving complex cognitive tasks. They can solve problems that require sophisticated logical reasoning, such as counting and inference by exclusion. In addition, they have the unique ability among birds to manipulate their environment with dexterity, using both their feet and beak, which gives them a high level of technical intelligence. A few parrot species have been shown to use tools, and one species, the Goffin’s cockatoo, even spontaneously makes tools both in captivity and in the wild. In general, the parrot species investigated to date are socially tolerant, group-living, and gregarious. However, social structures and behaviors have only been investigated in a handful of the more than 300 parrot species that exist today. Differences between species’ social structures, habitat, and foraging strategies likely influence aspects of parrots’ cognitive abilities, such as individual and social learning.

In this Special Issue, we aim to increase knowledge of the social behaviors and learning abilities of parrots, with the overall goal of better understanding parrot cognition and behavior through publishing high-quality, original research articles and comprehensive reviews. Research areas may include (but are not limited to) the following: parrot cognition, parrot intelligence, parrot learning, parrot problem solving, parrot sociality, and parrot social behavior.

Dr. Amelia Wein
Dr. Raoul Schwing
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • parrot cognition
  • parrot behavior
  • bird cognition
  • bird behavior
  • cognitive abilities
  • problem solving
  • technical intelligence
  • parrot
  • kea
  • cockatoo

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Research

21 pages, 8620 KiB  
Article
Feathered Lectures—Evidence of Perceptual Factors on Social Learning in Kea Parrots (Nestor notabilis)
by Lucie Marie Gudenus, Amelia Wein, Remco Folkertsma and Raoul Schwing
Animals 2024, 14(11), 1651; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani14111651 - 31 May 2024
Viewed by 237
Abstract
Social learning describes the acquisition of knowledge through observation of other individuals, and it is fundamental for the development of culture and traditions within human groups. Although previous studies suggest that Kea (Nestor notabilis) benefit from social learning, experimental evidence has [...] Read more.
Social learning describes the acquisition of knowledge through observation of other individuals, and it is fundamental for the development of culture and traditions within human groups. Although previous studies suggest that Kea (Nestor notabilis) benefit from social learning, experimental evidence has been inconclusive, as in a recent two-action task, all perceptual factors were ignored. The present study attempts to address this by investigating social learning in Kea with a focus on social enhancement processes. In an experiment with a captive group of Kea, we investigated whether individuals that had the opportunity to observe a conspecific performing a simple task subsequently show better performance in that task than a control group without prior demonstration. This study provides a strong tendency of greater success in skill acquisition in Kea as a result of social learning. Kea that observed a conspecific solving a task showed clear evidence of perceptual factors drawing attention to the relevant parts of the experimental apparatus and manipulated these significantly more (100% of trials) than control birds (77.8% of trials). Combined with a strong trend (p = 0.056) of the test subjects solving the task more than the control subjects, this shows conclusively that Kea, at least when required to solve a task, do attend to perceptual factors of a demonstrated action. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Learning and Social Behavior in Parrots)
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