Bird Families

Gray parrots can help others without any benefit to themselves.


Biologists have recorded a truly interesting phenomenon: as it turned out, gray parrots are able to help each other, while building complex logical chains.

According to a number of scientists, providing assistance to representatives of their own species does not make sense for animals from an evolutionary point of view. Yet we seem to have repeatedly observed altruism among our smaller brothers: for example, primates, dogs, cetaceans, pinnipeds, and even bats. Now pronounced features of such behavior were seen in birds.

A kind-hearted altruist turned out to be one of the titans of the bird's mind - a gray parrot, or a gray (psittacus erithacus). New experiments have shown that these birds happily help each other acquire treats without assuming or expecting that their altruism will be mutual.

“We have found that African gray parrots voluntarily and spontaneously help familiar parrots achieve their goals with no obvious immediate benefit to themselves,” says biologist Désirée Brucks of the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology.

The research team developed an altruism test and tested it on two different species of parrots - eight gray parrots and six mountain macaws (primolius couloni). The birds were previously trained to exchange tokens for treats. Then the "volunteers" were placed in a transparent box with a partition between them. In the front of the box there were holes through which objects could interact with humans, and the dividing wall between the birds had a hole through which they could exchange with each other.

Experimental conditions

The exchange concept was understood by both the gray parrots and the mountain macaws. But when tokens were given to one of the two birds, only the gray parrots, not the macaws, deliberately passed the items to their friends so that they would receive food. Seven out of eight gray parrots presented tokens to their partner: in total, they donated 157 out of 320 "coins" to their relatives. Mostly those with whom they had stronger ties.

The transmission frequency of the ara (BHM) and gray (AGP) tokens

An important observation regarding gray parrots was that birds do not seem to feel any envy if the other gets more food. Scientists associate all these qualities of the gray with their monogamy, as well as the need for close interaction in relatively small groups in the wild.


In Anapa, many grebes die. She brought one home, but she refused to eat, although she swam in the bathroom and was hungry. She let her go to the Anapka river, where she died. The temperature drop was fatal. Now, having picked them up, freezing on the shore, I take them to the river. But they don't seem to survive there either. How can you help them? Thank. I would be grateful for all the useful information.

Owl deceived by the pandemic

I work in an environmental organization in my city, and in the spring of last year, people told us that in the city park, at a distance of three meters from the path and at a height of one and a half meters from the ground, an owl hollow was seen in which three chicks were hovering.

We arrived at the park and, indeed, found this hollow and three chicks: though two of them have already got up on the wing and sometimes warmed up, flying out of the hollow, so in the video you will see only one of them. At the end, he sits on the ground - we took him out to ring him.

According to our assumptions, such anomalous behavior of the female (usually owls choose a much safer height and distance from human paths) is due to the fact that she nested just at the time when everyone was sitting at home due to the toughest wave of restrictive measures to counter the proliferation pandemics. The park was quiet, calm, the flow of people dropped sharply, so she chose the most comfortable large spacious hollow. As a result, any large dog could reach the nest if desired, which would threaten him with immediate ruin.

But everything ended well - we monitored the state of the nest and the chicks right up to the moment when they flew off their habitat completely and after a couple of weeks it was possible to breathe peacefully.

An owl, by the way, is a long-tailed owl, a fairly common species, in the territory of our region slowly replacing the gray owl because of its more aggressive behavior and slightly larger size. The next video shows an adult female who swears at us for disturbing her chicks (to ring). When she tries to scare, she makes such sounds as if she is barking.

And finally - one more video from the ringing of the long-tailed owl chicks. In the beginning, you can see the duplon - an artificial nesting place, like a birdhouse, but only for owls. We hang these just to restore the number of endangered species (but sometimes they are still populated by long-tails) and take them into account by ringing them.

Continuation of the story about my birds

As I said earlier, in my old posts, I have such wonderful animals - pheasants.
And by some miracle, in sweet captivity, they began to multiply! Imagine my surprise when I went into the chicken coop and found there half-shells and small striped chickens. The first time there were two of them. They were hatched by a chicken that was not their mother at all! The funny thing was that the cock and the hen were straight.
Well, then every spring on a knurled one, I expect a May offspring :)
All this is very interesting, especially when one accidentally appeared bird gave such a course to the development of history!


Grouse is a gullible bird, but suspicious and capricious. He could get scared a thousand times and fly away - he heard a rustle, a breeze blew, wanted to eat, his leg was combing, but he was just tired of him, in the end. But today he was as stubborn as never before.

After more than four hours of waiting, mixed with re-whistling, the hazel grouse came out into the field of view of the lens. Slowly, carefully treading with his chicken legs, he walked over the fallen leaves, stopping now and then, and stretching his neck, whistling, trying to determine exactly where his rival was hiding. The disguised portable speaker answered regularly, but was in no hurry to show itself.

The sun was already shining with might and main, illuminating the cautious bird, but it had not yet risen high enough so as not to cast a harsh direct shadow from occasional branches and blades of grass on the pockmarked plumage. Nothing, another half a meter to the left, and the hazel grouse will be on a hillock, picturesquely overgrown with moss, and in advance by my caring hand, which could interfere with a good shot of vegetation. It just takes a little more perseverance, patience, and luck.

But, alas, he never got where I needed to. Suddenly he stopped, interrupting his melodic whistle, stretched out his neck, and, like a rocket projectile, was carried away towards the tops of the nearest trees.

From the side of the clearing, mushroom pickers walked towards the blind. Actually, that's all for today. I unbuttoned the curtains of the cover, got out, stretched out with pleasure, and lit a cigarette, waiting with a sour expression for two men with baskets in their hands to come up to me, and with lively interest in my eyes.