But Irene Pepperberg, a researcher at Harvard who has worked with African greys for decades, says it’s not necessarily so simple. When you dive into the new study’s data, she says, it’s pretty clear that the best parrots at the job were the ones with the closest relationships—they were recorded socializing together outside of the test, and in some cases were even siblings. And Pepperberg notes that some of the parrots had already been trained to complete a similar task for previous research projects, possibly giving them a leg-up over other study subjects. That could explain why some of the pairs didn’t play along in the test at all. All told, she’s not convinced the behavior of the birds in the experiment can be generalized to being typical for the species.