Sunday 19 February 2012

Smart Animals - Crows

We all think our pets are clever in their own way. Recently, I thought it was quite funny that my highly intelligent Burmese cat chose to watch the BBC programme on Smart Animals as part of his education, even interacting with the Jays on screen.

However, having watched the regular visiting Crows that come into our garden, it is clear that these too are highly intelligent and creative animals.

A few weeks ago as I was having breakfast, watching the garden, I watched a couple of Crows gathering up the various large bits of hard baguette that I had thrown out the night before, and carrying them across to the reflection pond and just dropping them into the water.

Once they had gathered up all of the lumps, they cleared off to some other part of Stratford.

Roughly 20 minutes later they came back, pull the bread out of the water and placed it at the side of the pond. Once they had retrieved all of the pieces, they then started to eat from the first piece they had pulled out, which had by now drained off a little.

They continued eating, working systematically in the order that they had pulled them out of the water.

But it was this mornings behaviour that confirmed their intelligence yet further.

The reflection pool had frozen over again after last nights sharp frost. As before they grabbed a large chunk of bread, took it to the pond, and then hammered and chipped away at the ice with their beaks until they reached water. I was amazed to watch them them rip off chunks of bread, dip them in the exposed water, place to one side and repeat the process until all the bread had been water treated. With the bread softened, they tucked into their baguette breakfast.

Truly smart animal behaviour that kept entertained while I nursed my whisky fuelled hangover from last night.


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