Research Programs
Visual Search and Prey Evolution
Sociality and Cognition
in Parrots
Mechanisms of Social Cognition

Thinking Like a Parrot
Perspectives From the Wild

Integrating recent literature with their own extensive field studies, Alan Bond and Judy Diamond provide an accessible account of the life of wild parrots – how they perceive their surroundings, how they express emotions, how they play, think, learn, socialize, and communicate, and how they adapt to a rapidly changing world.

University of Chicago Press
Available July 2019

People establish close and supportive relationships with parrots, even though these amusing and curious birds remain thoroughly wild creatures. Parrots evolved in the forests of the Southern Hemisphere as versatile foragers, making use of a wide range of resources. To understand these unique birds, the authors focus on the psychology and ecology of wild parrots, documenting their sophisticated cognition, astonishing vocal abilities, complex social networks, and extensive play behavior. Interspersed among the chapters are short vignettes – field notes of the natural history and behavior of various species, ranging from the rarest to some of the most widely distributed parrots. Through this composite approach, the book highlights how the behavior of captive parrots is grounded in the birds’ wild ecology and evolution. Nearly all large parrots are rare, threatened, or endangered, and the survival of many of them remains uncertain. Their individual vulnerability depends on a complex set of ecological and behavioral traits, requiring a full understanding of their field biology to manage their populations. Spanning across the global distribution of parrot species, the authors present surprising insights into their intelligence, flexibility, and resilience.