Parrots can think like a four-year-old kid

London: Parrots are known for mimicking human speech. Now, a new study has discovered that one of the species is even capable of cool intelligent reasoning.

Researchers in Austria found that an African grey parrot was capable of working out the location of hidden food using the kind of deduction and elimination skills.

The task is one that kids as young as four could figure out, but the only other animals that have been shown to use this type of reasoning are great apes.

The discovery means that parrots join a select band of creatures at the pinnacle of animal intelligence, the Daily Mail reported.

Researchers at the University of Vienna carried out experiments on seven African greys aged between seven and 25 years and kept in a rescue centre in Austria.

Sandra Mikolasch, who led the research, said: "Two different but equally preferred food items were hidden in view of the birds under two opaque cups.

"Then an experimenter secretly removed one food type and showed it to the birds."

The parrots were then put in front of the two cups If they were relying purely on guesswork, the parrots would have chosen the cup containing the remaining piece of food roughly half the time.

Most of them were unable to work out where the food was. But over the course of the experiment, one bird showed a statistically significant — or greater than chance — preference for the cup with the food.