I would have to check at work but in the wild I'd have to say the Raven is most clever. As far as pets, perhaps the African Gray. Long lifetime - I'm not sure. There are parrots out there that will live longer than their owners.
thank you so much for your response.
I think the turkey or eagle are the smartest birds.You know it was a choice out of these for our national bird. I am glad it was the eagle. They are so magnificant.
I agree there are birds that live 50 - 60 years of age. I would just love a Cockatoo and I am hesitant to get one because of this. You have leave a will so someone can care for them.
My sister wanted a bird and when I explained the things you have to do with them and how sensitive they are. She decided she didn't want one after all.
I'm dying of curiosity: why do you think the turkeys or eagles are smart? Most fowl like chickens and quail and turkeys are not that bright from my experience. Eagles are big but don't do much in terms of clever activity. (for the record: when you're watching a movie and see an eagle fly by, you may hear a loud "scree" call. That sound is actually an Red Tailed Hawk. Eagles tend to squeak or snort)
Ravens can approach a problem and figure it out. They use tools (a stick for example) to get what they want. Even crows (another corvid) are clever enough to drop a walnut in the street and wait for a car to run over it to open it.
This isn't a contest but I'd love to know your thoughts.
The wild turkey is a very cautious bird. The flock will be seen during certain hours and a hunter will tell you it is very hard to kill a wild turkey. I can only tell you what I was told by avid hunters. Personally I would love just to see one in the wild.
The bald eagle will soar to high levels to hunt. Once it spots it's prey, it will pick it up and drop it on the rocks to kill it. The male/ female mates for life and they both tend to the chicks. They also live many years.
I know that other birds can mimick people. I don't think the bird really knows the meaning of what it is saying.
We owned an African grey for a decade and I can tell you these birds are exceptionally intelligent. Much more than anyone could believe. They learn to understand commands:
"Go back on your perch.." "Come here".
And they will verbally (in english) request specific foods or treats by name!
They will also recognize and address individual family members by name. So they can recognize faces.