The next time you're tempted to call someone a birdbrain, realize it may not be an insult! The March 2008 National Geographic has a fascinating feature on animal cognition.
Western Scrub Jays, often maligned where I live, can recall the past and plan for the future. They move their food caches if they realize another jay has seen them, and they store more food than they need in case of scarcity later.
The African gray parrot featured knew colors, shapes, and size. It was able to point out which of several items was different. It even invented its own word for "apple"--"ban-erry"--as the apple tasted like a combination of apples and cherries to the bird.
Other animals also display amazing intelligence, such as the border collie with a toddler's vocabulary, sheep that can recognize and remember faces (human and animal), and octopus that may show emotion by changing color.
And we think we're so smart!
See the photo gallery, video, and feature article at: