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Called “feathered apes” for their simian like smarts, crows use tools, understand physics, and recognize themselves and humans. But new research suggests that the brainy birds may be even smarter than was previously thought. Given a complex problem and an assortment of tools, New Caledonian crows came up with a creative solution that hints at higher-order thinking.
“Course, pigeons almost drove your granddad insane.” “How come?” The boy dawdled two steps behind, eyes trained on the back of his mum’s head. “There was this one pigeon sat on the roof of his house who’d start his noise the minute the sun was up. If you ever wondered what time sunrise was, your granddad would be the one to ask. ‘It was four o’clock this morning! Four-oh-clock. I’m going to get a gun and shoot the little bugger!’ he’d say…” (A Funeral for an Owl, www.jane-davis.co.uk)