October 5, 2007
Barreling down the 101 this morning, hopped up on triple brevé cappuccino from Palermo’s, I heard an interesting story on NPR. I had to calm my over-caffeinated self down a bit so I could pay better attention. What I heard was that a group of scientists noticed a crow, (named Betty by the way), take a straight piece of wire, bend it into a hook, and use it to get food out of a tube.
But they figured, well, Betty here, she’s a captive crow. They wondered if wild crows ever made and used tools.
So they trapped a few wild crows on some tropical island and attached video cameras to their little crow butts. Yeah, you heard me, a camera, to their butts! A crow cam if you will.
The footage they gathered was a little amateurish, being wild birds and all. You’d see a flash of wing here a black crow leg there, and a lot of cawing. Pretty fascinating stuff. You can read the whole story here. But what they found out was, that crows will use twigs and blades of grass to aid them in looking for food. If they think a particular twig is pretty useful, they might even hold on to it. Smarty pants birds!
Another score for the animal kingdom! Humans think their so big because they discovered fire and invented the wheel…oh yeah, and iPods!