[ExI] More bird IQ

Robert G Kennedy III, PE robot at ultimax.com
Sun Mar 1 19:09:04 UTC 2015


Corvids have been seriously proposed as a candidate for high-level 
non-human sentience (like cetaceans, or octopoids/squids/cuttlefish). We 
already know that they process symbolic communication. It's amazing that 
they can carry enough horsepower for that kind of mental activity given 
the extreme constraints in that package (avian performance limits), but 
seeing is believing.

We had a track at the last Tennessee Valley Interstellar Workshop (see 
www.tviw.us) about exploiting natural experiments on Earth as a way to 
get a handle on the SETI problem. We intend to have another at the 

Thanks for sharing.


On Sun, 1 Mar 2015 11:11:13 +0000, BillK <pharos at gmail.com> wrote:
> Lots of people love the birds in their garden, but it's rare for that
> affection to be reciprocated. One young girl in Seattle is luckier
> than most. She feeds the crows in her garden - and they bring her
> gifts in return.
> <http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-31604026>
> Quote:
> In 2013, Gabi and Lisa started offering food as a daily ritual, 
> rather
> than dropping scraps from time to time.
> Each morning, they fill the backyard birdbath with fresh water and
> cover bird-feeder platforms with peanuts. Gabi throws handfuls of dog
> food into the grass. As they work, crows assemble on the telephone
> lines, calling loudly to them.
> It was after they adopted this routine that the gifts started 
> appearing.
> ........
> Lisa, Gabi's mom, regularly photographs the crows and charts their
> behaviour and interactions. Her most amazing gift came just a few
> weeks ago, when she lost a lens cap in a nearby alley while
> photographing a bald eagle as it circled over the neighbourhood.
> She didn't even have to look for it. It was sitting on the edge of
> the birdbath.
> Had the crows returned it? Lisa logged on to her computer and pulled
> up their bird-cam. There was the crow she suspected. "You can see it
> bringing it into the yard. Walks it to the birdbath and actually
> spends time rinsing this lens cap."
> "I'm sure that it was intentional," she smiles. "They watch us all 
> the
> time. I'm sure they knew I dropped it. I'm sure they decided they
> wanted to return it."
> -------------------------

Robert G Kennedy III, PE
1994 AAAS/ASME Congressional Fellow
U.S. House Subcommittee on Space

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