Friday, February 20, 2004

"Bird brain" is no longer an insult

From time immemorial, to call someone a "bird brain" has been to insult their mental capacity. I don't know why birds have been thus maligned, and a recent article in Science News summarizes research showing that birds who cache seeds have extremely good spatial memories. One of the best tidbits from the article is this mini-experiment:
Balda also tested one of his graduate students at caching. The student hid seeds and 30 days later found only about half as many caches as a bird typically did.

No comments: