“While in India, I saw two kinds of parakeet, the Rose-ringed (Psittacula krameri) and Alexandrine (Psittacula eupatria). The Rose-ringed is the more common of the two and it seems to be the most common bird in Delhi and Agra.
“Of course, this perception could have been exacerbated by the riotous character of the species. I took many photos of the birds feeding along the trip and after looking through the photos I recalled photos showing similar feeding behavior of the bird in Lorong Halus I took in July.
“The salient visual was the bird’s ability to use its claws as ‘hands’ while feeding. This got me to think about our own species Homo sapiens. The turning point of our status in the ecosystem was the evolution of our front limbs from the simple purpose of maneuvering to the complicated task of using tools and creation. This triggers our intelligence many folds through an accumulation of knowledge.
“It is a known fact that the parrot is on average more intelligent than most other bird species. I am wondering is it their dexterity with their claws that trigger this intelligence or because of higher intelligence that they are capable of using their claws in such a way. Either way, I am quite sure there is a strong relationship between the two.
*The first photo taken in Singapore’s Lorong Halus, feeding with the left claw (top). The second photo in Agra just outside Taj Mahal waiting for my wife to finish shopping in the souvenir shop. Not sure what the birds are eating, may be you can help.”
Linm Sheau Torng
2nd Nivember 2012
Note: The top image shows the parakeet feeding on the seeds of the African Tulip Tree (Spathodea campanulate). The tree in the lower image looks like the Indian Jujube (Zizyphus mauritiana).