(1) A crow sledding down a roof
A video taken in Russia has been steadily gaining popularity the last few days. The clip shows a crow fiddling with an item resembling a jar lid, then the bird stands on the disc and appears to intentionally sled down the side of a snow-covered roof, flapping its wings as the “sled” moves. Towards the bottom of the “hill”, the crow gets up, picks up the lid with its beak and flies back to the peak of the roof… the amazing part is, the bird does it not once, but at least twice.
The Atlantic asked a bird expert what he thought of the crow’s actions in the video.
“It is in keeping with the general reputation of corvids,” Alan Kamil, co-director of the Center for Avian Intelligence at the University of Nebraska, told The Atlantic. “I don’t know what to make of it scientifically but it is a cool example of a play-like behavior in a corvid.”
“Human beings have a strong, strong, strong tendency that if we see an animal do something that’s analogous to what we do, like use a tool or answer an arithmetic question, we assume that the animal is doing it and understands the situation in the same way we do,” Kamil said. “And sometimes that’s true but more often it’s false.”