Tag Archives | crows

Crows Are Capable Of Human-Style Reasoning

Today, this news, tomorrow, a bird parliament. Crows living in a controlled environment have shown that they possess a sophisticated form of reasoning believed to be a hallmark of humanity alone, Wired writes:

A type of sophisticated thinking known as “causal reasoning” [is] inferring that mechanisms you can’t see may be responsible for something. But humans aren’t alone in this ability: New Caledonian crows can also reason about hidden mechanisms, or “causal agents,” a team of scientists report in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. It’s the first time that this cognitive ability has been experimentally demonstrated in a species other than humans.

The tests show that the crows are “capable of causal reasoning,” Taylor says. “We expected the crows to initially be scared of the moving stick. Instead, they only became scared when they could not attribute the movement to a hidden human—which suggests the crows were reasoning that the stick’s movement was caused by that human.” The crows, he says, apparently don’t expect an inanimate object to move on its own.

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‘Coffins’ Built to Scare Crows

DSC_6947a800What’s the best way to get rid of crows? Build them a coffin. It seems scarecrows aren’t enough anymore, now the birds need to be reminded or their mortality to be scared off. The Connecticut Post reports:

The crows are back in Cedar Rapids.

Thousands have been congregating at night in Green Square Park downtown. They’ve been roosting in park trees for years in winter, leaving their droppings underneath. The birds are believed to be attracted by a relatively warm downtown microclimate.

The Gazette of Cedar Rapids says the city is preparing its usual — and unusual — arsenal to fight back: “crow coffins.”

The oddly devised scarecrows were invented by veterinarian Russell Anthony in 2006. City officials say the crow coffins are the only thing that’s frightened away the birds.

The coffins are two dead crows attached to boards that are placed in the park’s trees, 10-15 feet below the treetops.

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