See Why Ravens are the Brainiest of Birds (3 videos)

We’ve shown you some amazing videos of smart crows. It turns out ravens are not only bigger, they’re smarter too.

L. Kilham in The American Crow and Common Raven writes, “Ravens are, to enthusiasts like myself, at the top of the avian pyramid in mental attributes.”

Judge for yourself as you see what brainy critters they are in these 3 videos.

Genius Bird

Ornithologist Bernd Heinrich of the University of Vermont devised an experiment to show that ravens have the ability to make logical connections, much like human beings. He dangled food on a long string, something a raven would never encounter in the wild. See how the raven figures out how to get the food.

The next two videos, on pages 2 and 3, show more examples of raven cleverness, as they find creative ways to get food out of a tube. The tube on page 2 is pretty simple; the one on page 3 provides much more of a show.

Photo credit: Kashyap hc

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Get the Food in the Tube

A couple of ravens have the opportunity to get a small bucket of food out of a tube by pulling it up with a piece of wire. One fails and gives the opportunity to the other. This one figures out how to bend the wire and hook it on the handle of the bucket. Pretty clever, we’d say.

Think this was impressive? See what the ravens do to get their treat on page 3.

Photo credit: Ron Mead

Related:
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Get the Food in Fancy Tube

In this BBC video we meet two more ravens with a much fancier tube. It is U-shaped; if a raven drops rocks in one side he will raise the water level on the other side so that the bucket of food will be in reach. Watch the ravens’ performance then wait for the dénouement.

Photo credit: Stefanweihs

Related:
7 Animals Smarter Than Humans
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102 comments

Glennis Whitney
Glennis Whitney10 months ago

Such and awesome bird and videos, thank you for sharing.

Glennis Whitney
Glennis Whitney10 months ago

Very smart ravens, reminds me of the crows we have in Australia, great videos thank you for sharing,

Duane B.
.2 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

Karen R.
Karen R.3 years ago

smart birds! thanks

Teresa Wlosowicz
Teresa W.3 years ago

amazing

Mary Beth M.
MaryBeth M.3 years ago

Wow

Michele Wilkinson

Great to watch.
Thank you

Emil P.
Emil Perera3 years ago

Crow we call Kaaka .Black. In colour very greedy.and cunning.

San Matajs
San Matajs3 years ago

I saw one putting a hard walnut on a tram-road and wait until tram pass and crack it open, and then the one soaking a hard peace of bread in the paddle. I also saw 2 chasing a rabbit but they couldn't catch him (thankfully). There's no doubt in their intelligence. I think they can understand and speak a lots of words too. I shore hope the ones in second video are not in captivity.

Elisabeth T.
Elisabeth T.3 years ago

Great article and videos, thanks so much..