Jamie Morton is the NZ Herald's science reporter.

City birds smarter than country birds


We've already learned that urban tui adapt their songs to the bustle of the big smoke - but now US researchers tell us that city birds are just clever in general.

In a first-ever study to find clear cognitive differences in birds from urbanised compared to rural areas, researchers found big differences in problem-solving abilities such as opening drawers to access food and bolder temperaments.

The team tested the two groups of birds using not only associative learning tasks, but innovative problem-solving tasks.

"Since urban birds were better at problem-solving, we expected there would be a trade-off and that the immunity would be lower, just because we assumed that you can't be good at everything," said study leader Jean-Nicolas Audet, of McGill University.

"It seems that in this case, the urban birds have it all."

- NZ Herald

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