There are lots of birds out there with beauty on their side — majestic wide-winged eagles, brightly colored hummingbirds and extravagant peacocks, just to name a few.
But when it comes to raw intelligence, none of those birds can hold a candle to the high-powered grey matter inside one of the ugliest flyers out there — the crow.
It’s easy to overlook crows’ intelligence and see them as nothing more than pests — I knew nothing of crows’ brilliance until recently when I watched a recording of a “Ted Talk” online. Ted Talks are a collection of brief but highly informative speeches and presentations given by scientists, thinkers and others, which have been recorded and posted to the Internet for free viewing.
The Ted Talk about crows features a speaker who built a vending machine for crows that rewarded the birds when they brought it specific items. With minimal guidance, the crows basically discovered for themselves how to operate the machine and get rewarded. Perhaps even more impressive, after one crow figured out how to use the machine, other crows learned from the first one and began using the machine, too.