But I like them a lot anyway. Corvids - the family of birds to which crows belong - and here I quote Wikipedia, "... are considered the most intelligent of the birds, and among the most intelligent of all animals, having demonstrated self-awareness in mirror tests (European magpies) and tool-making ability (crows, rooks) -- skills until recently regarded as solely the province of humans and a few other higher mammals. Their total brain-to-body mass ratio is equal to that of great apes and cetaceans, and only slightly lower than in humans."
I might add that some humans strike me as having a slightly lower total brain-to-body mass ratio than crows, great apes and cetaceans, but that would be a topic for another day.
Actually, some days I feel dumber than any of those myself. Just now, when I looked up that Wikipedia article (found here) I realized that what I've been calling a "crow" could be any one of a dozen specific birds. But since I've only ever heard them called "crows", that's what I'll continue to call them.
For a short video on crows using tools, go here.
While searching for the above video, I also found this article on raising baby crows which made for entertaining reading (please excuse a bit of colourful language).
And here is a podcast on an 8-year-old girl who makes friends with crows (warning: about 25 minutes long).
All that to get to my point for today: we have a "crow couple" building a nest in a tall evergreen behind our house. It's close enough to see the crows quite clearly from our upstairs window. Two weeks ago I began to notice them busily carrying materials for the nest into the highest and most dense part of the evergreen.
Here's the tree after last week's snowfall:
|Slightly obscured by the deciduous trees at the back of our property ... when the leaves start coming out I fear we won't be able to see the evergreen any more. But in the meantime, I'm keeping a close eye on the nest builders.
What birds do you like to spy on in your part of the world? Do they pose nicely for pictures or do you have to take dire steps to get photos of them?