I Do Not Doubt that Crows Can Make Tools – I Have Seen Some Amazing Crow Antics

There are many crows in our neighborhood, and I not only watch them – I “caw” at them, whenever they come close, and even from afar. Naturally, these crow-companions do not often show any signs of acknowleging, or even recognizing my greetings. I suspect that I am speaking in the crow equivalent of, not just a foreign language, but total gibberish!

Yet, once in a while the crows around here, do seem to be “blessing” me with a surprise, especially close, encounter! Here is my true crow story: One winter, many years ago, I was priviledged to witness crows and squirrels appearing to collaborate to successfully topple the “critter-proof” bird feeder in my parents backyard! My father redesigned his odd-looking, original, ulta-elaborate bird-feeder every time one of these incredible, yet obvious, security breaches occured – two or three times a week. One day, I determined to see one of these “impossible” trespasses in progress, so I sat at the kitchen window, just ten feet away from the whole situation, and watched and waited. After not all that long of a time, I saw what was happening – the crows would weigh the feeder down, so the squirrels could leap close enough to finish the job, and scatter its contents over the ground!

What was in this project for the crows? The crows would have had no reason to “have it in for” my father (their benefactor, afterall) and they could already, easily, get into the bird-feeder’s contents. I remember speculating that afternoon, that this “trick” must have been done as pure play and interesting fun. It sometimes seems to me that crows perform fancies of flight for the sheer exhilaration of it. I even wondered if the crows could have assisted the squirrels to “show off” that they could. Now, I am supposing that this kind of behavior is just a natural feature of crow-ness!

Here is the news article that brought this fun memory back today:

Reuters: Crows Show Tool Making Abilities

I understand that these days it is an accepted scientific view, that there are many kinds of intelligence operating in this universe, and after what I have seen with my own eyes, the official reality of bird-brained “smarts” does not surprise me – just delight me! (I have seen squirrels do some pretty smart things, too.) Buried in a scrapbook, packed away in a box of earlier collections of “weird and wonderful news items” are more articles on corvid and other avian antics and animal abilities – now, I might take a look and see if I can turn them up!


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