An interesting item on avian intelligence

To: <>
Subject: An interesting item on avian intelligence
From: "Cas and Lisa Liber" <>
Date: Sun, 10 May 2009 09:31:29 +1000
Great read that, from folks observing corvids vs the large artamids, do the
former impress as especially more intelligent than Australian Magpies? 

Also, anyone know of the original references for magpies eating cane toads.
I found one at


-----Original Message-----
 On Behalf Of Carl Clifford
Sent: Saturday, May 09, 2009 10:38 PM
To: Chris Sanderson
Subject: An interesting item on avian intelligence

Bernd Heinrich an Ethologist who has done a lot of work with Ravens ( his
book, Ravens in Winter is certainly worth a read). His studies show that
Ravens have a remarkable degree of problem solving ability.  
Heinrich and Thomas Bugnyar wrote a fascinating article in Scientific
American showing that Ravens even appear to be able to use logic to solve
problems. An overview of the article can be found at


Carl Clifford

On 09/05/2009, at 10:09 PM, Chris Sanderson wrote:

Hi Peter,

There are other examples of crow intelligence out there.  Japanese  
Crows for
example have developed a strategy for getting into nuts by dropping them
under the wheels of cars at pedestrian crossings.  I believe there is
another corvid in North America that has over 100 calls in its  
Just 2 quick examples, I'm sure there's many more.


On Sat, May 9, 2009 at 7:51 PM, Peter Shute <> wrote:

> Somone will probably tell me it's been proven otherwise, but I'm a  
> little
> wary of attributing too much intelligence to crows, etc. It might be  
> that
> they have somehow evolved very advanced skills for getting things  
> out of
> holes with sticks, but not for much else.
> Once they've evolved the instinct to get a stick, and (remarkably) to
> modify one end as a hook, there's not that much to it.
> Peter Shute
> --------------------------
> Sent using BlackBerry

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