For the last month I have been teaching Kili my Senegal Parrot to work on a 4 piece shapes and colors puzzle. This was by all means the most challenging trick I have taught her to date. This is not just a parrot trick but really a test of the parrot's reasoning capabilities. Here is a one year old parrot doing the thinking of a two year old human child. It is simply incredible. The parrot really deserves a lot of credit because she is really smart.
My involvement as a trainer was mainly to get her to understand the necessity of getting the pieces into their respective locations but I could not teach her how to align the shapes. She had to go through a month of trial and error to learn how each piece slides into its proper location. Every shape is different and the parrot can only use its beak to guide the pieces into the slots, this is very impressive.
I don't think she has fully learned the puzzle yet and rather than doing it from memory, she still tries fitting pieces into different slots to feel where it should fit. This demonstrates that she sooner understands the concept of trial and error rather than having made a positive correlation between colors or shapes. I know for a fact that she knows clearly that the yellow circle piece goes into the yellow slot but I have seen her get the blue and green pieces confused and try to stick the triangle into the square or vice verse. It seems to me that she uses trial and error in combination with memorization of colors. I have yet to determine if she is actually understanding the shapes by creating a shape puzzle with equal colors. This is an ongoing parrot psychology experiment for me and I am curious to see what kind of results will be made. I will continue making videos of the bird's progress with the puzzle for people out there interested in animal cognition and comparative psychology.