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Crows Aren’t the Only Smart Birds in Town


Readers of Scientists in the Field title Crow Smarts, by Pamela S. Turner and Andy Comins, know that being called a “bird brain” should be considered the highest form of flattery–especially where New Caledonian crows are involved! New Caledonian crows are particularly interesting to scientists because they solve problems and use tools, something very few animals can do.

Crow Smarts follows scientists who are asking questions like, why do crows have this ability? And what can their skills tell us about the evolution of intelligence? SITF readers, no doubt, have a whole other slew of questions–like, are there other species of birds with special abilities? While they may not use tools the way New Caledonian crows do, it turns out there are some pretty remarkable birds that many of us see every day: pigeons!

Among the other fascinating facts and stories on Nat Geo Kids is their video series, Awesome Animals. If you loved Crow Smarts as much as we did, head over to episode three to be enlightened about the genius of pigeons.

Ever wondered why pigeons are known for finding their way home from incredibly far distances? Watch this video to learn about their master navigation skills, and more. And next time you hear someone called a bird brain, make sure they know that birds are some of the smartest animals on the planet.

by Harriet Low

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