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Why are rooks so clever?

Jul 01, 2014

The British Trust for Ornithology wants your help to find out.

Rooks are a member of the corvid family of birds, which also includes crows and magpies, and can be identified by their thick black feathers and grey skin around the bill. Another thing that marks rooks out is how clever they are. Laboratory tests have seen them making hooks out of wire to catch worms, and rooks have been observed dropping nuts onto roads so cars will crush them open. Rooks also have complex social behaviour, and some experts believe they may be as intelligent as some great apes and cetaceans like dolphins and whales.

Although rooks normally live in the countryside, they have become more common in towns and cities, which the British Trust for Ornithology, an organization that studies birds, thinks presents a great chance to observe them more closely. That’s why it’s asking members of the public to get involved in its Garden Rook Survey by making notes any time they see a rook in their garden, writing down any interesting behaviour they see, and making a video if they can.

Find out more on the British Trust for Ornithology website.

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