Romero belongs to a bird family so smart they’ve been called ‘feathered apes’ - the crows.
At Cambridge University, Eurasian jay Romero was put to the test by researcher Lucy Cheke in a mental challenge inspired by Aesop’s fable “The Crow and the Pitcher”.
Romero was presented with a worm floating in a tube, several stones and a few cork balls. He quickly learned that only stones raised the water level and brought the worm within reach. When researchers carried out the test on children they discovered Romero was performing at the same level as a seven-year-old child.
Lucy describes Romero as “a total sweetheart, and a bit of a suck-up. He is the only one of my birds that imitates human speech, greeting me in the morning with 'hello sweet pea' and singing ‘La Cucaracha’. All the technicians love him; he's so social; engaged and engaging. He's great to work with because he's so motivated, always keen to investigate the consequences of his actions which is why I think he did so well on the Aesop's Fable task”.