Budgerigars (Melopsittacus undulatus) copy virtual demonstrators in a two-action test.
Mottley K., Heyes C.
Juvenile budgerigars (Melopsittacus undulatus) observed thin film transistor video playback of a virtual conspecific demonstrator using its beak to remove a stopper from a food box, either by pulling the object upward or by pushing it downward. Simultaneously (Experiment 1) or subsequently (Experiment 2), the observers were offered a similar stopper box and rewarded with access to food for each removal response, regardless of its direction. Observers of upward movement made a greater proportion of up responses in total and showed a stronger tendency to increase the proportion of up responses over test trials than observers of downward movement. These findings provide the first demonstration of which the authors are aware that birds are able not only to detect and respond to a moving video image but also to copy its movements.