Here's Why 'Birdbrain' Should Be a Compliment
Birds can reason like a child, make tools like a chimp, and even remember where they left something.
You’ve been out late, you have an important meeting in the morning, and you want to grab a few minutes of extra sleep. But as the sun rises, a cacophony of tweeting and chirruping erupts, sending you diving under the duvet.
As Jennifer Ackerman explains in The Genius of Birds, the dawn chorus is one of the many elegant strategies birds use to survive and prosper. It's a (mostly male) bird's way of saying: This patch is mine, why don't you drop by for a tasty worm? New scientific discoveries are showing that birds, long thought to be driven by simple instinct, are much more intelligent than we thought. (Watch clever birds solve an Aesop's fables-style puzzle.)
Speaking from her home in Charlottesville, Virginia, Ackerman explains how female