Crows are among the most intelligent birds in the world. Given their reputation as a bad omen, you might be surprised to learn that they can make and use tools, count, play and even recognize human faces.
You’re about to discover how these black birds are smarter than you’ve ever imagined. Here are eight facts to show that crows are not just wise birds but also super cool.
Crows and Ravens Are the Same Genera
The genus Corvus includes both crows and ravens. This genus is also known as “bird of prey,” and the two groups are often referred to as “ravens” outside the birding community.
While ravens are bigger than crows and have longer legs, they’re still classified as a type of crow. This is because all crows are members of the “Corvus” genus.
Corvus brachyrhynchos and Corvus corax are the two species of them. Both species are members of the Corvidae family, which includes magpies, jays, and nutcrackers.
Older Crows Raise Their Younger Siblings
Crows are intelligent enough to help their parents raise their offspring. It turns out that older sibling crows play an important role in raising the young’uns. They will often take care of the eggs and chicks (as baby crows are generally called) while the parents are away hunting.
This helps ensure that the chicks receive enough food during their first few weeks of life. This behavior has been observed in captive groups of crows as well as wild populations.
Crows Are Clever Enough to Find New Food Sources
Crows are adaptable and opportunistic, using new strategies to adapt to the challenges of their environment. They also seem to be highly skilled in catching their fish. They “bait” fish by dropping bread or other food into the water to lure them closer.
Crows are known to steal food but they can also adopt ingenious tactics to take food away from other animals or even people. Crows eat leftover food from any species as long as they feel safe about the food.
Crows are intelligent birds that live in flocks called “colonies.” They’re also known for stealing food from other birds, which has led to many interesting facts about these clever creatures.
Crows Have Funerals
A crowd of one hundred or more living crows will typically gather at the sight of a dead one. The live crows almost never touch the deceased one during this process, ruling out scavenging as a motivator.
Why do they act this way?
According to certain research, the large crowding is a kind of survival tactic. The birds become more alert to potential dangers and are reluctant to return to any location where a dead crow has been found, even if food is abundant there.
Crows Are Monogamous
Crows are not just social birds but are also more companionate and family oriented than you might suspect. They usually stay with one mate and are socially monogamous.
Genetic analyses show that even though all birds are genetically promiscuous specimens, male crows only raise about 80% of offspring themselves. The other 20% of offspring is typically handed over to an aunt, cousin, or another close friend. This makes crows a more socially connected and close-knit species.
Crows Are Incredibly Smart
Crows are very smart, and it’s been proven that they can even solve some complex problems. Crows can choose between two bowls of food with three different types of food in each bowl.
It has also been found that crows can recognize themselves in a mirror. They will often use mirrors as tools to find food. It turns out that crows are quite smart.
When we talk to them, they recognize our faces and understand what we say. And while they aren’t as intelligent as dogs, they do have some impressive cognitive skills.
Crows Make Their Tools
Researchers explain that only a very small minority of animals have been observed using tools, and crows are one of them.
A crow can modify an object into a hook and barbed spear by mimicking the motion and poses of its owner. Furthermore, New Caledonian crows are also smart enough to memorize and then copy the designs from others. Finally, they can use tools even when there is no function in the tool.
Other animals rarely make use of materials otherwise considered junk. However, researchers believe that the tool-making abilities as seen in crows are a much older trait that gradually evolved in primates outside their species group.
Crows Follow Traffic Rules
Most crows like walnuts and it’s a sweet treat for them. So you know what to do if you want to attract these birds to the feeders on your balcony. But that is not the interesting bit.
The interesting fact is that crows tend to repeatedly drop the nuts onto the rocks to split open the shells. But nuts are hard to open, so they learned the trick to use cars as a nutcracker.
In Japan, crows are seen to use traffic lights as a signal to open nuts shells. They will drop the nuts on the road when they see traffic lights turning red and wait for a car to break the shells for them. Then they will collect the cracked nuts after cars are passed away.
Crows are fascinating birds with a lot of interesting facts. These birds are known for their intelligence, and they can even solve some complex problems. And they’re also known for stealing food from other birds, which leads makes them among the most interesting and clever creatures out there.