Parrots at the newly-named Lincolnshire Wildlife Park have been observed doing something previously unknown for their species.
Phd student Megan Lambert visited the Friskney-based park and noticed greater vasa parrots using tools to extract food from cockle shells.
The observation was picked up by National Geographic, which wrote an article about the findings.
Science writer Ed Yong writes: “They looked like they were licking the cockle shells that lined the floor of their enclosure. But when Lambert looked closer, she noticed that they were holding a pebble or date pit in their beaks, and rubbing these against the shells. They were using tools.”
The article notes that several species of bird have been known to use tools – including woodpecker finches and rooks – but this observation means the greater vasa parrot has now been added to that list.