How Intelligent Are Birds?

Posted by Nancy on 1/6/2016 to Fun Facts About Bird Species

Question:  I have recently bought a new upside down suet bird feeder.  It didn't take my birds long to figure out how to use the new bird feeder.  That made me wonder, I always heard the expression "bird brain" and thought it was a derogatory comment.  How intelligent are birds?

Answer:  Bird brains and reptile brains are similar in structure.  Therefore scientists have used the same terminology for bird and reptile brains.  Then in 2005 neuroscientists renamed bird brain structures to portray birds as more comparable to mammals.  The scientists felt that the old nomenclature was out dated and did not accurately reflect the brain power of the birds.  This is probably where the phase "bird brain" came from.   The fact is bird brains are 6 to 11 times larger than a reptile of similar size.  The bird's brain is more comparable as a percentage of body mass to mammalian's brain.  So, the term "bird brain" should probably be retired or taken as a complement.   

I'm glad that you have decided to try some different bird feeders. Many people will also add a thistle feeder for finches and please be sure to add a water source to attract more birds.  The birds will reward your effort.   

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