Birds are amazing nonhuman animals (animals). I just learned about a wonderful video called "Thoughtful birds in action" directed by Dr. Deirdre Cobbin of the Faculty of Science at University of Technology in Sydney, Australia, that shows captive and wild birds performing amazing cognitive skills showing just how smart they are. Some of the scientists whose innovative and groundbreaking research is discussed include Giorgio Vallortigara, Gisela Kaplan, Lesley Rogers, Gavin Hunt, K-lynn Smith, Cinzia Chiandetti, and Culum Brown.
In order to learn about the behavior of other animals it is essential to observe them in their natural habitats and also to perform ecologically relevant and non-invasive experiments that allow the animals to behave so they are able to express behavior patterns that are part of their natural behavioral repertoires. In the wonderful video we see behavior patterns including the manufacture and use of tools by New Caledonian crows (see also and), sneaky chickens who deceive others by taking the perspective of the other bird, young chicks who can count and also perform addition and subtraction with small numbers, and magpies using alarm calls that show that they use referential signaling indicating a specific predator. We also learn that birds can plan for the future and are provided information on the neurobiology of bird brains showing that they, like us, have lateralized brains.