Corvids are really smart.

I saw a very interesting science program yesterday about corvids in general but ravens especially. Did You know they can solve the exact  complex tests that the great apes can? For example how to reach food and use things around it as tools. They showed a Rook that solved the problem of reaching a maggot floating in a glass of water. It just couldn’t reach it but then the placed a bunch of pebbles near him and then he started to put the pebbles in the glass untill the water level had risen that much that it could reach the maggot. No one had ever shown him this before, he just figured it out by himself.





The ravens they showed was a bit too young yet to do any harder tests but they did figure out how to use a small hook to lift a tiny bucket from a deep glass so they could fetch the goodie that was in it 🙂 It shows that corvids do communicate with each other so that every one in the group knows where there is plenty of food or where danger might lurk. How they do that no one knows yet though.




Digging for voles.


They also told us that there are more and more corvids in the world now, in fact there’s never been this many before at all and that’s because they are very similar to us in one important way, they can adapt to almost any environment or condition. I do like corvids just because they are so funny to watch and especially the Jackdaw. Well that’s perhaps I’ve had a tame one before it became illegal to have wild birds in captivity. This one however would never have made it in the wild because it had a broken wing (now days it’s illegal to even help an injured animal of any kind if one doesn’t have a special license).





It was so fun to see those young ravens because they behaved very much like my Jackdaw did. They were all over the caretaker and reached those tiny hairs one doesn’t know one has and pulled them hard 🙂 🙂 🙂 They destroyed almost everything that could be destroyed just because they were so interested of what might be inside a box or a bag 🙂 🙂 🙂 But we do have problems with ravens here now days. They kill (in what we would say horrid ways, but remember they are animals after all) lambs and calves (and lots of other animals that they can attack) by poking out their eyes first. After that the animal is defenceless and the ravens can do as they please.





The day started out chilly and foggy but now the sun has broken through the clouds and it has become very warm 🙂 I have my kitchen door open and the sun shines straight in to the kitchen making it really warm and nice 🙂 They say we can get up to 10C (50F) this week and I will not complain at all 🙂


Do You remember the grape vine cuttings I planted some weeks ago? Now they look like this. But this doesn't mean they have any roots yet, only that they still are alive.


Have a great day!


20 thoughts on “Corvids are really smart.

  1. Har också hört-läst-sett det här – och jag är inte ett dugg förvånad. Ibland tycker jag t.o.m. att djur är smartare än människor. I alla fall vissa djur kontra vissa människor! 🙂 Och en sak kan man ju vara säker på, visserligen dödar dom andra djur – men inte på det utstuderade sättet vi människor gör!! 😦 😦

    • Hejsan Susie!
      Jag fick ju uppleva hur smarta de kan vara eftersom jag hade min tama kaja Robert 🙂 🙂 Och visst har du rätt, många är betydligt smartare än oss 🙂 🙂 🙂

      Man måste tänka på att de är vilda djur som måste överleva, visst är det ett grymt sätt som de har, men naturen är grym. Det är bara för att vi är i toppen av näringskedjan vi kan ha åsikter om sådant egentligen. De gör det ju inte för att plåga som många människor tyvärr gör.

      Ha det gott!

  2. oh no…i forgot to trim my grapes! is it too late. i know you told me what to do but now i have completely forgotten! i did know about how smart ravens are. we have them in our trees and they yell at teddy all the time. it is sunny and warm here too but i think we will have thunderstorms tomorrow! hope your cold is better! joyce

    • Hi Joyce!
      Yes it is to late now, but Yiu can always trim the new green branches later this spring. Cut the branches after two bunches of grapes so they’ll get as much sun and energy as possible. That will help to make them as sweet as possible.

      Well at least the fever is stabile now 🙂 My closest neighbor has gotten it too and he sounds much worse than I do.

      We’ll have this weather for a couple of days and then it’ll be cooler, but still sunny, again 🙂

      Have a great day!

    • Tjänare Monne!
      Eftersom jag haf en kaja visste jag ju att de var smarta men kanske inte så smarta trots allt 🙂
      Här kom nog solen lite tidigare och nu har jag njutit med köksdörren öppen en stor del av eftermiddagen 🙂

      Ha det gott!

  3. such beautiful photos, wow! I have to admitt I do have a pashion for Ravens, i love to paint them as well. I know they are smart I think my husbands uncle taught oneto speak.I have heard these stories of theintelligence of these birds.Its amazing isn’t it. Nature is cruel but if we had to fight for our food we would do what needed to be done as well I suppose.

    • Hi Laurie!
      We have lots of ravens here but they are just impossible to get a good photograph of 🙂 And to be honest, they are huge 🙂 🙂 🙂

      Yes they are good talkers and my Jackdaw talked rather well but like all birds he had problems saying R the swedish way. So when he said his name it sounded like vobert 🙂 🙂

      Yes nature is hard and tough so I don’t say anything about their way to kill animals, they do what they need to survive. Humans have better ways to do it more “humane” so to speak.

      Have a great day!

  4. Hi Christer,
    Animals are much more intelligent than we like to think. We just don’t always test their intelligence in a way that makes sense to them. Even octopuses (octopi?) show a fair amount of intelligence when it comes to getting at food. If your food tends to be hidden or hiding, it’s very likely that you will be an inquisitive sort of animal that is poking into stuff and turning stuff inside out. That’s where food might be. Inquisitiveness brings rewards and rewards encourage learning. Besides, if it isn’t food, it might be a toy. Win, win! 🙂

    I do have concerns about better squirrel proofing on bird feeders. I think it just encourages intelligence in the little spawns of Satan. We don’t need that.

    I assume that is Nova doing the vole digging dance. My old terrier loved digging. Didn’t matter if there was anything under there. The digging was the thing.

    It’s sunny, not too cold and a little windy. Snow is due tomorrow. It’s the extra day of February so it might as well give us a shot of winter on the way out.

    Enjoy the day.

    • Hi Caryn!
      So true! I agree in all that You say and I think squirrels will outsmart us all in the end 🙂 🙂 🙂 The harder it is for them to get those seeds the smarter they will get in the long run 🙂

      Digging just for digging sake is not Novas thing. There must be a vole there otherwise she just continues untill she finds one. She behaverd much like a fox when we had thick snow here, You know that jump up in the air. She usually caught them too. Unfortunately she eats them as well, just like old Erna did and I can’t say I like it 🙂 🙂

      It will stay sunny and warm here and I hope we’ve had our last day of winter now even if the odds are against my hopes 🙂

      Have a great day!

  5. Christer,
    Gracie would love digging for voles. My fence seems to keep out all but the possum and squirrels, and we haven’t seen the possum in a while so Gracie has had nothing to chase.

    The sun looks so lovely shining in the woods.

    We have a rehabilitation center for birds and other animals. You can bring the animal to them or they’ll come and get it. They are a non-profit who do so much good. The last picture I saw was of an owl now being freed after his wing has healed.

    Have a wonderful evening!

    • Hi Kat!
      Thankfully no voles in my garden this winter, they eat everything they can, even roots from big trees. It’s always surprising to see how an old tree just dies and when removed there’s just a few roots left on the tree.

      We do have centres like that too but I haven’t heard of any close to me. I can understand why this law was written because lots of people “found abandoned” deers and hares in nature and brought them home. Strange really because we all learn at school that their mother’s always are nearby. But it is stupid when the law says the animal should die in nature if such a centre isn’t avalible. If so I wouldn’t hesitate breaking the law 🙂 🙂

      Have a great day!

  6. Christer, what a great post about corvids. I admire the entire group (ravens, crows, magpies, bluejays, jackdaws, etc). So intelligent. When driving on highways, I see crows standing at regular intervals. I often think they are sentinels, waiting and watching, for who knows what. BUt they must have a vast communication network!! There is a video on line showing a crow or magpie, not sure which, using a tool to slide down an icy roof, and then back up to slide down again. I will find it and post it on my blog! Those ivy leaves look immense in such a short time. Nova must be in heaven, digging for the many voles!

    • Hi Robin!
      They are fantastic birds and I never get tired of watching them. I love it when ravens play in the air making loops and rolls all the time 🙂 We don’t have Bluejays here but we have the Euroasian jay instead. Really funny and beautiful birds. We have lots of them in the forest but they never come as far from the forest as to my feeders.

      I think that the corvids beside the parrots are the only birds that do things just because it is fun 🙂 🙂 and they are amongst the few that can learn how to talk as well.

      I only wish that there were roots on those cutting too, but I’m pretty sure they will come soon.

      Have a great day!

    • Hi Z&M!
      Let us not shout hi before we’re over the creek as we say over here, still no roots on those vines.

      Well that’s nature. I don’t like it but nature is cruel all the time. It’s only because we’re in the top of the food chain that makes it possible for us to enjoy it so much 🙂

      Have a great day!

  7. Oh, well, I would probably help any animal I want to help, law or no law. I would NOT keep an wild animal though once it was well.
    Crows and Raven’s are similar but Raven’s …are they larger?
    All I know about crows is what I see them do here. They go to the walnut tree and get a walnut..
    then drop it on our concrete drive over and over until it cracks open. Funny they know that the concrete drive is harder than the asphalt street. 🙂
    Everything is GROWING here too. We are just now getting some cooler weather and snow in our mountains. Daughter and her husband are now snowed in and just sent me a photo taken of ..what WAS their car but now just a mound of snow. 🙂
    She is a tea drinker like you..and her screen name is Mary Loves Tea. 🙂

    • Hi Mona!
      I would let them free too. The reason Robert the Jackdaw stayed was that his (or hers I never could figure out what) wing never healed as it should. So he could just glide a few meters in the air, never fly. I think he most probably was the funniest and naughtiest pet I’ve ever had 🙂 🙂 🙂

      Ravens are much larger than a crow, at least a third bigger is my guess. I guess they figure out what’s better for them after just acouple of trials on the asphalt 🙂

      Buds are growing, snowdrops flowering and tulips are showing above ground now and I can honestly say that I’m not yelaous on Your daughter anbd her family 🙂 🙂 🙂 That’s a good screen name 🙂 🙂 🙂

      Have a great day!

  8. Hmm. the Raven sounds much smarter than most people I know.
    I hate the beaking the eys out thing. How horrible. and I adore lambs.
    So that info does not make me a member of their fan club.
    Take care and wear sunglasses.
    🙂 – Cindi

    (I changed my email address. I had to when I changed my Wi-Fi…?!?!?!?)

    • Hi Cindi!
      I did wonder why I had yo approve Your comments again 🙂 🙂 🙂

      We have to remember that they do what they need to do to survive. It is a cruel way for us in the top of the food chain but only because we have other ways. So I’m still in their fan club 🙂 🙂

      Have a great day!

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