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Keas are smarter than we thought

A cheeky Kea tries to break into a car.  Wikimedia Commons

Willowbank Reserve wildlife experts are impressed by the results of intelligence tests conducted on Keas.

New Zealand's cheekiest native bird, the Kea, was found to be even smarter than we thought, after tests by Auckland University Researchers.

Intelligence tests are being conducted on 14 Kea in Christchurch.

Willowbank wildlife expert Nick Ackroyd said the results of the tests were "both impressive and surprising".

"Test showed that Kea will wait for a reward longer than any other animal that's ever been tested, over a minute - this is longer than a four or five year old child will wait."

New research reported in science journal, Current Biology, also showed Kea may be the only bird with a laugh that specifically signals play.

"Keas' laughter is an emotional contagion," the journal reports.

When one Kea starts laughing, they all join in. 

This behavior was previously only observed in mammals.

Kea are notorious for their curiosity, with a tendency to steal from tourists and vandalise vehicles.