We’ve heard of crows doing remarkable things, which tell us that they’re pretty smart creatures. But we didn’t realise just how smart.
Dr Alex Taylor studies wild birds, which he releases back into the wild after three months. In a BBC feature, one of his subjects, a black crow named 007, takes center stage as he works on solving a complex puzzle in pursuit of a snack.
Although 007 is familiar with the individual objects involved, this is the first time he encounters them arranged in an eight-step process that has to be completed in sequence.
He starts by taking a short stick from stage one.
Finding it too short to reach the food, he uses it to retrieve a pebble from stage two …
… and a pebble from stage three.
Having collected two pebbles and no food, he seems to be stuck for a moment. But then something seems to click, and he quickly plops a stone into the box at stage four.
Noticing movement from the trap door in the box, he picks up a third stone from stage five and drops it into the same box.
Then he goes back for the stage two pebble and adds it to his stone collection.
Voila! The trap door releases a longer stick, which 007 then uses to take the food from the final stage.