Bruce the Kea is a rock star with an affinity for Pebbles.
Not to be dramatic, but I would die for Bruce the Kea. The handicapped parrot lives in the Willowbanks Wildlife Sanctuary in Christchurch, New Zealand. The upper part of his beak is missing, but that doesn’t stop him from looking spectacular. He has figured out how to hunt without it.
Bruce’s self-care routine involves finding a perfect pebble, rolling it with his tongue, and then holding it against his lower bill while he cleans his feathers. A team of researchers published a study on Bruce’s skills last week in the journal Scientific Reports.
“Although anecdotal reports exist for the use of self-care equipment in domesticated parrots, this type of device use in the wild is rare, and is the first time it has been observed,” the University of Auckland said in a statement. Friday. “This is also the first scientific observation of a parrot using pebbles for self-care.”
The researchers tracked Bruce’s pebble behavior for nine days and noted that 90% of the times he picked up a pebble, he used it to hunt. If he dropped it, he would either pick it up or find a replacement to continue working on his wings. He was also consistent about the size of his pebbles. All these observations point to intentional use of the tool.
Bruce was rescued from the woods in 2013. Researchers suspect that his injury may have been caused by running away with an insect net. His life with other kea in an aviary. Bruce is given soft food that is easy to handle without a full beak, but he also knows how to press hard foods against other objects to eat.
The university’s Animal Minds Lab released a video showing Bruce’s work with both pebbles and hard foods.
None of Bruce’s friends in the aviary have shown the pebble-filled behavior, indicating that it is a behavior that he himself invented.
“The kea does not routinely exhibit tool use in the wild, so a person’s use of a new tool in response to their disability shows great flexibility in their intelligence,” said lead author Amalia Bustos. Bruce is not just a beautiful bird; He is a clever, resourceful bird.