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SV: Rooks cooperate to get treats



Corvids are pretty damn smart. A well-known trick of which several
corvids are known to be capable, is to pull on a string with food on the
end with the bill, put a foot on string, pull another bit etc. until the
food is reached.

Bernd Heinrich tried this problem on young Ravens which he was rearing
(so as to be sure that they had never encountered this situation before)
to see how long they would take to figure things out.
More than half of them did it immediately, on the first try, and without
any experimentation or fumbling. As Heinrich writes, it is hard to
interpret this in any other way than that ravens are capable of figuring
out a course of action and its effect in advance.

A pair of Magpies mobbing a predator (e. g. a cat) sometimes work in a
co-ordinated manner with one bird confronting it and keeping it
distracted while the other hits it from behind. I've seen this myself.


Tommy Tyrberg