As some readers already know, this scribe is owned by an Un-Cape Parrot (a genetic relative to the wild Cape Parrot). I’ve had the privilege of experiencing first-hand the intense brilliance of these precious Pois (mine is Poicephalus fuscicollis; the Cape Parrot is Poicephalus robustus). We rescued Oscar-Wood from a cage in a store, where he had languished for 4 years, plucking his feathers down to the pink skin beneath. Oscar-Wood still plucks: Once acquired—and it is only acquired by captive parrots—this neurotic habit, borne of depression and boredom, is hard to extinguish. This is the best the little guy has ever looked.
“Busy Eating. Can’t Talk.” With Oscar-Wood, Nov., 2013
“Kiss Away. This Walnut Needs All My Attention.” Puckering With The Precious Poi, Nov., 2013
UPDATE I: From the thread on Facebook:
Oscar-Wood is very smart. The hallmark of intelligence—one of them—is play and exploration. And a plan. Parrots always have a plan. It may not be long term (“time preference,” as Austrian thinkers would term it), but there’s a plan. The other night he decided to attempt to evict wine bottles from the wine rack, for the purpose of playing at nesting where wine is placed. The next morning he rose, and flew straight back to what he was doing before he was put to bed. You can understand why an animal like this constantly caged is a very sad one indeed. Parrots beat dogs many times in smarts. And crows, yes the common crow, is one of the most brilliant animals around, able to use one implement to manipulate another to retrieve treats from a tube.