Reply
Thread Tools Display Modes
#1
Old 05-18-2006, 03:09 PM
Guest
Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: Taint of creation
Posts: 33,150
Whats more intelligent an American Crow, a Common Raven, or a Scrub Jay?

Just curious.

What is the smartest bird BTW?
#2
Old 05-18-2006, 03:19 PM
Guest
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: London, UK
Posts: 2,450
Ravens will form and use tools. They can alsobring down a country by flying away.
#3
Old 05-18-2006, 06:31 PM
Guest
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Bay Area, California
Posts: 9,293
Odd (or perhaps not a coincidence) that you should mention the scrub jay, in light of what I'd just read today here. (at the bottom, past all the ape stuff.)
#4
Old 05-19-2006, 02:47 PM
Guest
Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: Taint of creation
Posts: 33,150
Thanks!
#5
Old 05-19-2006, 03:06 PM
bup bup is offline
Guest
Join Date: Sep 1999
Location: glenview,il,usa
Posts: 11,905
Crows also use tools:

http://users.ox.ac.uk/~kgroup/tools/tools_main.shtml
#6
Old 05-19-2006, 03:28 PM
NDP NDP is offline
Member
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: PNW USA
Posts: 8,281
Quote:
Originally Posted by Szlater
Ravens will form and use tools. They can alsobring down a country by flying away.
But this can't happen as long as they keep clipping their wings (which is a bit of a cheat).

I'd also vouch for crows/ravens (they're both in the same family) as being the smartest birds. I think it might've been some Doper who said this but when's the last time you saw a dead crow or raven in the middle of the road? They certainly seem intelligent enough to avoid becoming roadkill.

Birds like parrots or mynas that can learn and mimic speech would also probably rank highly.

Just out of curiosity but are owls also considered to be "smart" birds?
#7
Old 05-19-2006, 03:53 PM
Guest
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Columbus, Georgia
Posts: 6,934
I have read of ravens up North who will unzip the supply pouches on snowmobiles and steal food. They even learned how to "unzip" velcro!
#8
Old 05-19-2006, 04:28 PM
Guest
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 534
Can someone confirm or deny the story that I have long "known" about crows? I have heard that if you take two female crows and teach only one of them a maze, then when they each have a baby the one with the mother who knew the maze before will know the maze better and be able to get through it faster than the baby whose mother did not know the maze. Is that possible?
#9
Old 05-19-2006, 04:37 PM
Guest
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Bay Area, California
Posts: 9,293
I have a hard time picturing how you get a bird to navigate a maze. But besides that...I doubt that knowledge of the maze could be passed on; isn't that some bogus discredited evolutionary theory (Lamarck?).

But the moral of this story may just be that smart mothers have smart children; ie, the ability to learn mazes quickly may be hereditary.
#10
Old 05-19-2006, 06:03 PM
Member
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: TX
Posts: 13,386
Ravens are very, very smart; I've seen pictures of the snowmobile/velcro thing. I saw a study where they hung a piece of chees at the end of a string abpout a foot below a bird perch. Crows were smart enough to pull the string up with one foot, but still couldn't reach the cheese. Ravens figured out they could get the cheese if they pulled the string up with one foot, stepped on it with the other, pulled it up, stepped on it, etc.
#11
Old 05-19-2006, 06:11 PM
Guest
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Door of your fridge
Posts: 3,786
One of the problems with your question is (of course) how you measure intellignece.

Because there are debates about that, there are therefore debates about the answer.

Crows and ravens are very smart (I'm not personally familiar with scrub jays, but am curious to know why you included them).

So this is probably not helpful at all, really.

CAW, CAW, CAW!
#12
Old 05-19-2006, 06:14 PM
Guest
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Door of your fridge
Posts: 3,786
I'm starting to lose my ability to type.

I need to hire a crow, or something.
#13
Old 05-19-2006, 09:31 PM
Guest
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Banks of the Assabet
Posts: 3,906
Quote:
Originally Posted by NDP
...
Just out of curiosity but are owls also considered to be "smart" birds?

I've never heard anything to suggest that owls are smarter than other predatory birds like, say, hawks or eagles.

I think owls come by their reputation for intelligence mostly because of their looks-they look like us (both eyes on the front of their heads, unlike other birds) therefore they MUST be smart, right?
#14
Old 05-19-2006, 09:55 PM
Guest
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: London, UK
Posts: 12,051
Weren't owls also associated with Athena (the goddess, not the poster)? I'm not sure how much that would have had an effect, though.
#15
Old 05-19-2006, 10:54 PM
Guest
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 3,245
I was told by a national park ranger that the only difference between crows and ravens was that ravens had pinion feathers and crows didn't. Is this true or is it that only a matter of
SPOILER:
a pinion?
#16
Old 05-20-2006, 04:55 AM
Member
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Seminole, FL
Posts: 8,509
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snakescatlady
I have read of ravens up North who will unzip the supply pouches on snowmobiles and steal food. They even learned how to "unzip" velcro!
I've watched crows unzip bycycle and lunch bags to steal food. They are notorious for it at the Shark Valley part of the Everglades.
#17
Old 05-20-2006, 09:13 AM
Guest
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Door of your fridge
Posts: 3,786
Owls aren't particularly known for their intelligence, but as our friend the giggling bunny mentioned, they are associated with wisdom since both their eyes look forward.

Yes, owls are associated with Athena.

Crows/ravens/pinion feathers: don't know. I do know that one way to tell crows from ravens in flight is that one has separate feathers at the ends of their wings, and the other doesn't...but I don't remember which one is which, so this isn't very helpful.
#18
Old 05-20-2006, 10:38 AM
Guest
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Banks of the Assabet
Posts: 3,906
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dijon Warlock
... I do know that one way to tell crows from ravens in flight is that one has separate feathers at the ends of their wings, and the other doesn't...but I don't remember which one is which, so this isn't very helpful.

I usually go with the shape of the tail if the bird is in flight. Crows' tails are squared off at the end, ravens' tails end in a sort of wedge.

You can usually tell just by size, too. We have large crows around here but when I go to, say, New Hampshire's White Mountains and happen to see a raven there isn't any doubt, they are MUCH larger. Their wings look different as they fly because they are much longer than a crow's wings. Ravens will soar, crows pretty much never do. Also ravens are more solitary, crows are almost always seen with other crows. The voices are different too: crows can make a lot of different sounds but I've never yet heard one make a sound like the distinctive guttural croak of a raven.
#19
Old 05-20-2006, 01:47 PM
Charter Member
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: Anderson, IN,USA
Posts: 14,584
Folks in French Lick will tell you with no hesitation that the smartest Bird is Larry.
#20
Old 05-21-2006, 10:28 PM
rjk rjk is offline
Member
Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: At Zyada's beck and call!
Posts: 3,462
Quote:
Originally Posted by pravnik
Ravens are very, very smart; I've seen pictures of the snowmobile/velcro thing. I saw a study where they hung a piece of chees at the end of a string abpout a foot below a bird perch. Crows were smart enough to pull the string up with one foot, but still couldn't reach the cheese. Ravens figured out they could get the cheese if they pulled the string up with one foot, stepped on it with the other, pulled it up, stepped on it, etc.
The bait-on-a-string study was cited in a National Geographic article in January of (I think) 2000, or maybe 2001. January I'm sure of. I've mentioned it before.

The author also mentioned seeing a nice group trick. He found a golden eagle eating a deer carcass, when a flock of ravens showed up. The eagle threatened vigorously when the ravens got too close, so they backed off and hung around at one side of the clearing. The eagle kept an eye on them as he ate, and didn't notice as one raven flew off and circled around behind him. That raven sneaked up, pulled the eagle's tail, and dived for the woods where he could move faster than the eagle. As soon as the deer was unoccupied, the other ravens rushed in and chowed down until the eagle came back. IIRC, they did the same several times in a row.

Now that's smart!
__________________
Bob the Random Expert
Bon vivant by day, cheesemonger by night!
#21
Old 05-21-2006, 10:37 PM
Member
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: NH
Posts: 21,832
Quote:
Originally Posted by NDP
Just out of curiosity but are owls also considered to be "smart" birds?
There's the "wise old owl" saw, but in the extras of one of the Harry Potter movies they remarked that it was very difficult to train Hedwig, since owls are exceedingly stupid; she was the only white owl they could do anything at all with. Funny, cats don't take direction well, but most of us don't say they're stupid for that...
#22
Old 05-22-2006, 04:57 AM
Guest
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 4,348
Crows and scrub jays are regular visitors to my balcony every day (they LOVE peanuts, which I put out for them every day). Crows and jays are very closely related. Anyway I have done a lot of reading on both birds, and recall seeing repeatedly that crows are more intelligent than jays.
#23
Old 05-22-2006, 11:54 AM
Guest
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Florida
Posts: 11,853
I used to volunteer at a wild bird rehab center. There was a cage for the crippled crows near the entrance. Those little buggers were smart and funny and they all had their own personalities ... er, birdonalities. They used tools, they played and they talked. They may have a bad reputation but they are actually pretty cool birds.


Except when they poop on you.
#24
Old 05-23-2006, 06:00 PM
Guest
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Door of your fridge
Posts: 3,786
Quote:
Originally Posted by rjk
The bait-on-a-string study was cited in a National Geographic article in January of (I think) 2000, or maybe 2001. January I'm sure of. I've mentioned it before.

The author also mentioned seeing a nice group trick. He found a golden eagle eating a deer carcass, when a flock of ravens showed up. The eagle threatened vigorously when the ravens got too close, so they backed off and hung around at one side of the clearing. The eagle kept an eye on them as he ate, and didn't notice as one raven flew off and circled around behind him. That raven sneaked up, pulled the eagle's tail, and dived for the woods where he could move faster than the eagle. As soon as the deer was unoccupied, the other ravens rushed in and chowed down until the eagle came back. IIRC, they did the same several times in a row.

Now that's smart!
I have also heard (don't recall where) that crows have been documented to place walnuts in the middle of the road, where they will be cracked open by passing cars.

(My dad had a pet crow when he was a kid, said it followed him around like a dog. It's not legal to take them out of the wild anymore--and may not have been then, knowing him--but it IS legal to take starlings, which are related. They are considered nuisance birds, and you can do as you like with them. I wouldn't mind raising one of them. They are incredible mimics, and could be fun (and legal) as a pet.)
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 08:49 PM.

Copyright © 2017
Best Topics: ian o'doherty trump peacekeeper command carrier suicidal drowning pipe shield supermans father name pirate smile wb superstar italian silver faucet stopped working tony robbins hands powerless mower slick legging teenage wasteland movie hoofed carnivore tip triple a 89 glucose level ansie aschenbach pamplemousse definition woven floss discontinued solid gold record sarcastic love poems clean easter jokes mirror screen saver how zicam works spanish bullfight song earning red wings books on constitution universe vs dimension supercalifragilisticexpialidocious origin chamois flannel why cuckold jeremy piven imdb see you in the funny pages how to make your car not smell like weed rehoming fee for pets what happens if you claim exempt on your paycheck why do reporters talk the way they do difference between metric and sae is melted plastic poisonous diarrhea from spicy food what temperature is celsius and fahrenheit equal hollow sound in ear when clicking teeth me chinese me play trick does windex kill bees i love the fishes cuz they re so delicious how much does piano tuning cost cookie clicker season switcher how much nyquil to die torque wrench socket extension formula refillable ink cartridges walgreens remove burnt sugar from pan guilty until proven innocent countries multivitamin on empty stomach double edged razor blades walmart john ritter cock fight are bonnie and helen hunt related how long do dress shoes last how to focus sunlight into a beam how to file a countersuit activated charcoal vs charcoal what time does the mail come does rogaine work for thinning hair in front