Re: Fun-loving parrots

To: "ozbird" <>, "Harvey Perkins" <>
Subject: Re: Fun-loving parrots
From: "Susan Myers" <>
Date: Tue, 17 Nov 1998 21:20:52 +1100

> But on a more serious note:  Maybe it is the case, particularly for birds
> such as galahs, cockatoos and certain other parrots that have benefited
> from human activities, that there is an abundance of food available to
> (presumably nest sites and other factors become limiting) and they have
> energy to spare - and therefore to have fun!

Harvey's right when he states that abundance of food allows an animal to
indulge in play behaviour. But to follow on from that, the animal (whatever
species - most birds & mammals will practice some sort of play at some
stage in their life cycles) can benefit from the play behaviour in a number
of ways. It may allow the animal to hone it's hunting or food manipulation
skills which can often be quite tricky. Additionally the social benefits in
regard to group cohesion are considerable in certain species. In the case
of the cockatoos in particular it is thought that their highly developed
brains do actually allow them to gain enjoyment from these activities (as
anthropomorphic as that sounds). Animals are not robots purely programmed
to the pursuit of efficiently gaining food, they also must pursue a number
of other activites in order to convince perspective partners of the benefit
of passing on their genes!
Also, it is not just the activities of man that can produce an abundant
food source; this can occur naturally as well of course.

Susan Myers
phone: +61 3 9819 2539
Email:Susan Myers 

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