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Top 5 Most Intelligent Bird Species


The term "bird brain" is often used to describe someone who is a little bit less than bright, but the fact is that this commonly used phrase couldn't be farther from the truth. Birds are, in actuality, some of the most intelligent creatures on Earth, and birds in captivity continue to prove this to us time and time again. If you are interested in owning a pet bird with superior intelligence, then your search should begin here, with the incredibly precocious species listed below. Read on to discover, in no particular order, the most intelligent bird species known to man.

African Grey Parrots

It's no secret that the African Grey Parrot is regarded as one of the most intelligent bird species on the planet. In fact, African Greys have even been tested and found to have intellects on par with human children! The work of Dr. Irene Pepperberg and her famous parrot "Alex" helped to show the world what magnificent and brilliant creatures these birds actually are. Of course, anyone who has ever owned an African Grey could offer plenty of anecdotes to further prove how brainy these birds are!


They come in a variety of colors and sizes, and have come to represent the quintessential hookbill, being what most often pops into mind when someone mentions the word parrot. Yes, the beautiful and captivating Macaw is indeed an intelligent bird, often wowing people with their remarkable ability to mimic speech and learn tricks. While the most recognizable Macaws are the larger ones, such as the Blue and Gold, Scarlet, and Greenwing Macaws, the smaller Macaws, such as the Yellow-Collared, Hahns, and Severe Macaws, share their larger counterparts' personality and intellect. Anyone interested in owning a Macaw should not overlook the smaller members of the Macaw family, as bigger is not necessarily better in terms of what these birds have to offer.

Amazon Parrots

Another type of bird that comes in many varieties that all share equal intellectual capabilities is the intriguing Amazon Parrot. Amazon Parrots have been kept as pets for many hundreds of years, and this is largely due to their supreme intelligence and talking ability. Some Amazons can learn to mimic speech so clearly that their words can barely be discerned from those of an actual human -- and that takes some real brains! In addition to speech, Amazon parrots can be trained to perform a variety of complex tricks and tasks. It's really no wonder that these impressive birds are so highly sought after as pets.


Known more for their endearing personalities than or their speaking ability, Cockatoos are another type of bird that scores exceptionally high on intelligence tests. These sweethearts from Down Under come in a variety of sizes, much like the Amazons and Macaws, and while each type has their own special traits, they are all extremely smart and well-suited to human companionship. If you are looking for an especially affectionate parrot, then a Cockatoo may be just what the doctor ordered for you. These birds bond extremely strongly with their owners, and many enjoy being handled, cuddled, and petted as much as possible.

Eclectus Parrots

The eye-catching Eclectus Parrot is also no slouch when it comes to brains. Like the other species listed here, they can be taught to talk and perform tricks, and they make excellent companions when properly tamed. The male Eclectus is a vivid green color while the females have gorgeous red and purple feathering, making them ideal birds for people who want a lot of color in their lives. Consider an Eclectus if you want to form a strong bond with a pet bird who loves socialization and playtime with their owner.
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