You have probably heard the expression bird brain. In many ways, it’s a little unfair on birds. They are much better at finding their way around the earth than humans are. But, birds are no mathematical geniuses. In fact, they can only count up to two. How do we know this? Did I ask a parrot?
Stop and think for a moment. How could you discover the counting abilities of a bird? Don’t read on just yet if you think you can figure out a way to do it.
OK. You couldn’t, could you? Neither could
Finally - now this is the really clever part - the third man shot three of the birds. They repeated this process for several weeks until incredibly the birds finally learned to count up to three. No, I just made that last bit up.
Now you know how to do it, you can conduct similar experiments with cockroaches, feral cats, Cape hunting dogs, Thomson’s gazelles, wildebeests, elephants and any other wild animals that take your fancy. Have fun and remember to wear the appropriate safety equipment.
PS I took that photo of a Rufous-tailed Hummingbird on the beautiful Bocas del Toro islands in Panama last year and, of course, I needed two other people to help me ;) Click on it if you want to see the bird actually counting the number two <>