Aww!
Intelligent wild cockatoo gains millions of views solving complex puzzle
Popeye the cockatoo always swings by Angus Deeson's home for some treats but this time Angus decided to see just what he'd do for them.
Gianella Argao
06.06.22

It’s already pretty much established that parrots are smart but people keep discovering new things that prove that they’re far smarter than we already think they are.

Maker’s Muse, a Youtube channel based in Sydney, Australia decided to test the intelligence of his local Sulphur-crested cockatoo through a 3D-printed and laser-cut puzzle he created.

It’s well worth the watch.

Youtube - Maker's Muse
Source:
Youtube - Maker's Muse

The content creator behind the popular Youtube channel is a man named Angus Deveson.

Essentially, solving the puzzle requires intricate problem solving, dexterity, and memory skills to figure out the puzzle.

“Quite frankly, I wasn’t sure it was possible. What happened though was truly extraordinary,” he said.

According to the Youtuber, although all types of parrots are known for their impressive intelligence, there’s one parrot species in Australia that’s “more notorious than any other.”

Youtube - Maker's Muse
Source:
Youtube - Maker's Muse

The Sulfur-crested cockatoo species.

They have the reputation of surviving well in urban areas and being destructive as they do.

One of the local ones that always come by for snacks is a cockatoo named Popeye.

One day, he decided to give Popeye some puzzles to solve to test his intellect.

Youtube - Maker's Muse
Source:
Youtube - Maker's Muse

“Parrots solving puzzles isn’t anything new and it’s been well-documented with parrots in captivity but this is a totally wild bird,” he shared.

Deveson started off with a pretty simple challenge. He covered the food with some cardboard in front of Popeye.

As expected, the parrot instantly figured out what to do. It removed the carboard to access the food.

So he upped the challenge.

The content creator decided to design his own parrot puzzle just for Popeye.

Youtube - Maker's Muse
Source:
Youtube - Maker's Muse

After a good amount of brainstorming, he and his team ended up choosing a Donkey Kong-style puzzle with an angled seed path blocked off by dowels.

Essentially, as the parrot removes each dowel, the seeds end up going further and further until they make their way out.

Deveson utilized laser-cut clear acrylic in creating the windows which sandwiched the 3D-printed path.

Now the big question.

Will Popeye be able to solve the puzzle?

Youtube - Maker's Muse
Source:
Youtube - Maker's Muse

The testing day came and Deveson set the puzzle up just before it was time for Popeye to come.

Popeye has an eye injury so it started off keeping its distance. Seemingly, it was taking precaution since the puzzle was unlike he’d ever seen before.

When Deveson closed the window to his balcony, Popeye “slowly but surely approached the puzzle.”

Youtube - Maker's Muse
Source:
Youtube - Maker's Muse

Once the cockatoo was sure that the puzzle didn’t pose any threat, problem-solving began.

It started testing out the dowels using its beak and was shocked when it actually moved. Popeye then moved to the other side to continue his investigation.

A happy accident

Without intending it, the parrot accidentally knocked one end of the dowel causing some seeds to fall through.

Immediately, Popeye moved to the other side to pull the dowel all the way out using its beak.

Youtube - Maker's Muse
Source:
Youtube - Maker's Muse

As if already having it all figured out, it started attempting to remove the lower dowel. However, due to the puzzle’s lack of stability and security, it tipped over.

To fix the situation, Deveson intervened and added more strings for added security. And just like that, Popeye went on to pull the remaining dowel out and solved the puzzle.

“Needless to say, I’m incredibly proud of my little cocky boy but that crappy securing method needs to be upgraded pronto,” Deveson said.

Well, despite some puzzle glitch, we can’t deny that Popeye still solved the problem all by itself. Just goes to show how insanely smart parrots are.

Watch Popeye solve the puzzle in the video below!

Please SHARE this with your friends and family.

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By Gianella Argao
hi@sbly.com
Gianella Argao is a contributor at SBLY Media.
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