Unlike any other book, Avian Cognition thoroughly examines avian intelligence, behavior, and individuality. Preferences, choices, motivation, and habits of species, flocks, and individual birds are discussed and compared. This book investigates who birds are and why they do what they do. Daily, seasonal, and play activities, creativity, reasoning abilities, problem-solving skills, social interaction, life stages, and communication patterns are described, and a distinction is made between vocalizations that are learned and those that are inherited. The behavior and intelligence of both wild and pet birds is compared, and unlike other books, entire chapters are devoted to a single species.
- Identifies and records new vocalizations and complete avian conversations in two audio CDs
- Identifies new behaviors, compares the behavior of wild and pet birds of the same species, and includes photographs of many new behaviors never before documented.
- Devotes entire chapters to a single species so that all information related to a species is easily accessible.
- Establishes a new framework for evaluating avian intelligence and related concepts.
- Information is accessible to general, professional, and academic readers alike.
What is Intelligence Anyway?
Definitions, Models, and Theories
Language, Culture, and Technology
Adaptation, Instinct, and Intuition
Great Blue Heron
Black-crowned Night Heron
Yellow-crowned Night Heron
Family Life and Daily Activities
Family Life and Daily Activities
Comparison of Mallard Duck and Canada Geese Behavior
Slate, Lilac, Sunflower, and Sky
Other Interesting, Surprising, and Amusing Behaviors
Adult Zebra Finch Behaviors
Development and Behavior of Zebra Finch Nestlings (0-3 months)
Meyer’s Parrot and Red-Bellied Parrot
Indian Ringneck Parakeet
Avian Communication Patterns
Mallard Duck Ice Medley, Disk 1 Track 1
Canada Geese Winter Song, Disk 1 Track 2
Canada Goslings, Disk 1 Track 3
Zebra Finch Phonics, Disk 1, Track 4
Indian Ringneck Parakeet Roundtable, Disk 2 Track 1
Meyer’s Parrot Beeps and Whistles, Disk 2 Track 2
Mitred Conure Chortling, Disk 2 Track 3
Budgerigar Morning Chorus, Disk 2 Track 4
Observation Locations and Populations
Budgerigars and Children: A Tribute to Perky
External factors to consider when giving a bird a medical exam
Debra Herrmann is a Principal Research Scientist with the Biological Computing
Initiative. She leads interdisciplinary research that examines the parallels
between avian intelligence, behavior, learning, reasoning, problem solving,
and communication skills and computer intelligence, artificial intelligence,
neural nets, computer heuristics, and other biological computing models found
Debra has been active in the federal and academic research communities in the Washington, D.C. area for the past 30 years. She has competed for and received research funding ranging from $50K to $4M for various projects, and because of her expertise, Debra has been asked to sit on panels evaluating research proposals submitted to the U.S. government for funding.
Debra led or participated in all the observational field studies reported in this book. She has participated in birding activities locally and on three continents (so far) over a span of 30 years. Debra teaches graduate, undergraduate, and professional short courses. She is a frequent guest speaker at annual conferences, monthly educational seminars, and informal committee meetings hosted by scholarly organizations and general membership societies. Avian Cognition is her fifth book. Her hope is that Avian Cognition will serve as a catalyst for increased public understanding of avian intelligence and behavior, better treatment of wild and pet birds worldwide, and more research in this area.