Thursday, October 05, 2006
The Star Tribune has a story about corvids (crows, ravens and related birds) and their intelligence. I find crows and ravens fascinating. Like so many other creatures, they have adapted to urban life fairly recently. In the Twin Cities, can see hundreds of crows flocking near sundown to temporary gathering places, like the trees near the I-35 freeway, before they go on to roost in the trees in Loring Park at night. Walking through the park after nightfall and hearing the sussurating noise of all those crows as they settle down for the night is uncanny.
This PBS documentary on ravens has lots of great features, and you can find a recording of Basil Rathbone reading Edgar Allen Poe's "The Raven" (ignore the obnoxious ad at the beginning).
This crow has figured out traffic patterns well enough to use them as a tool! He has figured out how to drop nuts into traffic so that the cars crack them, and then he knows that he can retrieve his food safely when the light turns red.
Bird That Uses Cars as a Nut Cracker