Ravens smarter than they look


Nunavut’s ravens, renowned for the ability to mimic everything from ship’s bells to cuckoo clocks, are some of the most intelligent birds in the world, says a scientist from McGill University.

Dr. Louis Lefebvre, who has invented a method of measuring birds IQ, ranks ravens, crows, jays and other members of the corvidae family as the most intelligent members of the bird word, based on the number of novel feeding behaviours shown by birds in the wild. The research was presented at a major science conference in Washington, D.C.

The basis for the avian intelligence index is 2,000 reports of feeding “innovations” observed in the wild and published in ornithology journals over the past 75 years.

Falcons ranked second, according to Dr. Lefebvre and “the herons and the woodpecker rank quite high,” he said in an interview with the British Broadcasting Corp.

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