So the massive project I’m working on reaches its climax this weekend, and my laptop is still broken… so here is a New Zealand bird story that is in the New York Times of all things! It’s seems the media has learnt of the amazing Counting Robins of Zelanadia. It’s a cool set of experiments that have been happening here in Wellington  which have demonstrated the amazing mathematical aptitude of the New Zealand Robin. Or perhaps North Island Robin if you split, although there is no reason to assume that the South Island Robin is a slacker in the math department. I plan on doing a longer post on the species, and its amazing counting skills, in the future, but the video I linked to is worth a watch in the meantime. The scientists think this ability comes from another fascinating aspect of their behaviour, they are a very rare example of an insect eating species that caches food for later.

Robin counting cacheA North Island Robin on a cache

Tiri Tiri Matangi 026Who’s a clever robin then?


Written by Duncan
Duncan Wright is a Wellington-based ornithologist working on the evolution of New Zealand's birds. He's previously poked albatrosses with sticks in Hawaii, provided target practice for gulls in California, chased monkeys up and down hills Uganda, wrestled sharks in the Bahamas and played God with grasshopper genetics in Namibia. He came into studying birds rather later in life, and could quit any time he wants to.