When I drop my daughter off at school in the morning I pass an abandoned school in a state of disrepair with a large birds nest on the very top of the cupola dome. I had often wondered what kind of birds it belongs to, maybe hawks or osprey, until yesterday when I passed and the CROWS were home! I had to stop and get pictures.
Just a few days prior my mother was telling me about a very interesting PBS show she saw about crows and how they happen to be highly intelligent. You can watch the full length video online at http://video.pbs.org/video/1621910826.
Read on for some interesting highlights from the program…
- Crows share a similar lifestyle to humans!
- They like the environment humans have created in Eastern North America with wide open spaces interspersed with trees
- They can learn garbage truck routes and how high to fly to avoid being shot and they are able to share information about danger with their young and others
- The Caledonian Crow from an island off the cost of New Zealand has been observed making fairly complex hook like tools, requiring several steps, for reaching food
- These crows can follow a three step procedure to get food in a lab
- Crows will stay with their families for up to five years and often help with younger siblings
- They are highly social and seem to have a need to be near other crows especially their parents
- There are 250 distinct crow calls plus loud calls for big groups and quiet calls for talking within their family
- Crows hold something like a funeral when one of their own dies where they sit silently in a nearby tree for a few minutes
And finally it seems as though we have long known of the crow’s intelligence!
The Crow and the Pitcher
A Crow, half-dead with thirst, came upon a Pitcher which had once been full of water; but when the Crow put its beak into the mouth of the Pitcher he found that only very little water was left in it, and that he could not reach far enough down to get at it. He tried, and he tried, but at last had to give up in despair. Then a thought came to him, and he took a pebble and dropped it into the Pitcher. Then he took another pebble and dropped it into the Pitcher. Then he took another pebble and dropped that into the Pitcher. Then he took another pebble and dropped that into the Pitcher. Then he took another pebble and dropped that into the Pitcher. Then he took another pebble and dropped that into the Pitcher. At last, at last, he saw the water mount up near him, and after casting in a few more pebbles he was able to quench his thirst and save his life.
Little by little does the trick.