Trained White Vultures

In my previous posts I had mentioned about intelligence in birds and they were mostly about parrots, pigeons and crows. The birds of prey in the wild too have a high intelligence, the levels vary. In fact no living bird is truly stupid. As juvenile birds grow in to independent adults, their inborn genetic information and skills watched and picked up from the parent birds help them survive in the world.

It is in this juvenile state, the birds of prey are captured from the wild. They are then trained for various purposes. Training these birds is a lengthy and complicated process and a license to train such birds have to be obtained. Owners soon realize how smart the wild birds are and it is very different from owning and caring the pet birds.

At Jurong Bird Park, Singapore, we witnessed the trained White Vultures showing off their skills, and the trainers constantly rewarding them with bits of meat. It was interesting to note how the Vultures assessed the size of the eggs and accordingly devised strategies to break them. The smaller ones were raised and dropped on a hard surface and for bigger ones they used stones. They would pick a reasonably big sized stone and drop it on the egg.

Read another interesting story here: The intelligence of vultures

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