Comments on: ■ City birds smarter than you might think https://persquaremile.com/2011/04/28/city-birds-smarter-than-you-mightthink/ Tue, 02 Jun 2015 14:30:43 +0000 hourly 1 By: Matt Wold https://persquaremile.com/2011/04/28/city-birds-smarter-than-you-mightthink/#comment-4460 Wed, 04 May 2011 02:39:24 +0000 https://persquaremile.com/?p=1082#comment-4460 Pigeons have an EQ about 0.089 (average of five data sources). Owls average 0.251. Swallows average 0.128 (they were referred to as an exception to the rule that larger-brained birds colonize cities). So I don’t think pigeons are going to join the “large brain group.”

Pigeons are not considered “near passerines.” Here’s an example of a phylogenetic tree: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Neoaves_Alternative_Cladogram.png

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By: Tim De Chant https://persquaremile.com/2011/04/28/city-birds-smarter-than-you-mightthink/#comment-4459 Mon, 02 May 2011 23:00:42 +0000 https://persquaremile.com/?p=1082#comment-4459 That’s correct, Matt, though I suspect the results may apply more generally to birds that are successful in cities. Many of the near passerines (of which pigeons are a part) occupy similar ecological niches to many passerine species. Given that brain size in this case is more closely correlated with urban colonization (and by extension functional role) than taxonomic relationship, pigeons may end up being part of the large brain group, after all.

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By: Matt Wold https://persquaremile.com/2011/04/28/city-birds-smarter-than-you-mightthink/#comment-4458 Mon, 02 May 2011 19:44:34 +0000 https://persquaremile.com/?p=1082#comment-4458 This study apparently only looks at Passerines. Pigeons are not Passerines, so your lead-in may not apply.

We don’t look at brain-body ratios to approximate intelligence, but at brain weight divided by body weight to a certain exponent (also called the encephalization quotient, or EQ). Using an exponent of about 0.55 is the best approximation to the actual IQ of an animal species.

I am not sure exactly what they did in this study, as only the abstract is available on the web.

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By: Birdz with personality | urbanbird.org https://persquaremile.com/2011/04/28/city-birds-smarter-than-you-mightthink/#comment-4457 Sun, 01 May 2011 14:26:00 +0000 https://persquaremile.com/?p=1082#comment-4457 […] as the coolest (just kidding, we like birds in all locations- but if you missed it, do check out this article on urban bird smarts). This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. ← […]

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By: Urban Birds have bigger brains | urbanbird.org https://persquaremile.com/2011/04/28/city-birds-smarter-than-you-mightthink/#comment-4456 Sun, 01 May 2011 05:29:11 +0000 https://persquaremile.com/?p=1082#comment-4456 […] article on Per Square Mile this week announced the results of a study suggesting city birds are smarter than rural birds, […]

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By: contemporarycontempt https://persquaremile.com/2011/04/28/city-birds-smarter-than-you-mightthink/#comment-4455 Fri, 29 Apr 2011 23:16:02 +0000 https://persquaremile.com/?p=1082#comment-4455 I fear the day that birds finally figure out how easily they could kill us all…

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By: fornormalstepfathers https://persquaremile.com/2011/04/28/city-birds-smarter-than-you-mightthink/#comment-4454 Fri, 29 Apr 2011 14:08:42 +0000 https://persquaremile.com/?p=1082#comment-4454 In a city with approx.150,000 population in Illinois, I saw a nest in some kind of brush and the sad thing is, the twigs and dry grass and whatever organic else was intertwined with some pieces of a plastic bag.Honestly, that sight brought tears to my eyes.

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