By David Derbyshire
Their best-known party trick, of course, is mimicking human speech.
But it seems parrots have other, less obvious talents.
A study has found that the creatures are capable of cool intelligent reasoning to the same level as a four-year-old child.
An African grey parrot was found to be capable of working out the location of hidden food using the kind of deduction and elimination skills previously seen only in humans and apes.
The discovery means that parrots join a select band of creatures at the pinnacle of animal intelligence.
Experiments were carried out on seven African greys aged between seven and 25 years and kept in a rescue centre in Austria.
Sandra Mikolasch of Vienna University said: 'Two different but equally preferred food items were hidden in view of the birds under two opaque cups.
'Then an experimenter secretly removed one food type and showed it to the birds.'
The parrots were then put in front of the two cups.
If they were relying purely on guesswork, the parrots would have chosen the cup containing the remaining piece of food roughly half the time.
Most of them were unable to work out where the food was.
But over the course of the experiment, one bird showed a statistically significant - or greater than chance - preference for the cup with the food.
Reporting their findings in the Royal Society journal Biology Letters, the researchers said the bird spotted which food item had been taken out and worked out which cup must contain the remaining reward
Previously, only apes have been shown to use logical reasoning skills in the same experiment.