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Bird Minds : Cognition and Behaviour of Australian Native Birds - Gisela Kaplan

Bird Minds

Cognition and Behaviour of Australian Native Birds

By: Gisela Kaplan

Paperback | 1 August 2015

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Winner of a 2016 Whitley Award Commendation for Behavioural Zoology

Recent published papers in the field of neurobiology and neuropsychology have dramatically changed our thinking about the avian brain and behavioral potential of birds, especially in the areas of learning, memory, plasticity, and in the cognitive and emotional domains. Bird Minds provides a fresh view of the behavior of Australian native avifauna, presenting a portrait of cognitive well-equipped species, which is somewhat removed from the traditional image of birds as fluttering, colorful ornaments that tend to move like automata.

The book will focus on the specific abilities of Australian birds, examining why they have had to find - largely cognitive - ways of adapting to difficult conditions. The demands of the Australian environment have led to the development of cognitively complex processes that are unique in the world, including complex behaviors such as grieving, deception, problem solving and the use of tools. Many Australian birds cooperate and defend each other, and exceptional ones go fishing by throwing breadcrumbs in the water, extract poisonous parts from prey and use tools to crack open eggshells and mussels.
Industry Reviews
"The book covers with competence the most traditional topics of avian intelligence, including nest building, mimicry, tool use, imitation, play, social and vocal learning but also more neglected topics, such as brain and behavioural asymmetries. [...] Overall, the book provides a scholarly but also very enjoyable reading on the intelligence of birds, and should thus be a recommended reading even to non-specialists."
- Giorgio Vallortigara, Centre for Mind and Brain Sciences, University of Trento, Italy

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