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Birdchick Blog: Crow Cams

Friday, October 05, 2007

Crow Cams

Miniature cameras have given scientists a rare glimpse into how New Caledonian crows behave in the wild.

The birds are renowned for their sophisticated tool-using ability, but until now, observing them in their natural habitat has proven difficult.

But specially designed "crow-cams" fitted to the birds' tails have shed light on the creatures, recording some tool-use never seen before.

The research is reported in the journal Science.

New Caledonian crows (Corvus moneduloides) are found on the South Pacific island of New Caledonia.

They can use their bills to whittle twigs and leaves into bug-grabbing implements; some believe their tool-use is so advanced that it rivals that of some primates.

You can read the rest of the story and see the camera at BBC News and there is also an article at National Geographic.

7 Comments:

Blogger bluesaffron said...

Imagine the sights you could see with a birds eye view like that, in all sorts of weather, day and night. The information would certainly would answer a lot of questions, which would of course create more questions. Fascinating!

10/05/2007 1:04 PM  
Anonymous Sassy said...

Holy crap!! That is one of the coolest things I've seen all day! That is so neat!!!

There must be amazing footage-- although being stuck where it is, I would imagine you get to see some, ahem, interesting things, too.

10/05/2007 2:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amazing stuff! It reminded me a bit of the Galapagos woodpecker finch, which I think is the only finch species in the world that uses tools, though I don't think they use them on the ground, the way these guys do.

Thanks for posting this!

klia

10/05/2007 2:46 PM  
Blogger birdchick said...

Yeah, I was wondering about that myself. I wondered how quickly it becomes "poop cam"? I don't think mating would be an issue--it's so brief.

10/05/2007 3:22 PM  
Blogger Kitt said...

Cool! Kind of like the Mr. Lee CatCam.

10/05/2007 4:22 PM  
Anonymous Scott Gordon said...

Gee, I hope this comes up when a celeb tells a paparazzi what to do with the camera.

10/05/2007 4:38 PM  
Blogger spacedlaw said...

Now that is riveting. I always knew crows had the reputation of being extremely clever but I would not have know just how much and how nimble they were.
A crow story is bound to come out of this, so thanks.

10/06/2007 2:28 AM  

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