I'm not a cat
- Jan 10, 2021
Crows and other corvids are amongst some of the most intellegent of the bird world.Got a story here. I work on an industrial estate right on the edge of town where everything gives way to countryside; on the way to work the commute passes through a busy road interchange where there's a wide carriageway with a grassy verge in the middle. By rights this should be roadkill central for birdlife - straying onto the road or flying too low to avoid being hit by traffic.
What I saw was an unconcerned crow foraging in the grass in the central reservation. It took off. But instead of taking off directly over the roadway and into the danger zone, it gained height above the central reservation away from traffic. Once it was high enough to be safely above anything coming - not just cars, but also at a height where it would avoid lorries and buses - then it crossed the road to safety on the other side and descended.
It was doing this even when the road was clear and no traffic was coming. I wondered if this was a fluke or a one-off - but no, there were more crows about. One morning I saw what looked like a couple of recently-fledged chicks, not quite adults (is there a word for them?) - and they too took care to gain safe height before flying over the road.
So - learned behaviour being passed to offspring. Is this a little pointer to speed-evolution among birds - the ones who recognise or survive a threat learn from it - and are the ones who live to breed? Seems oddy fitting it should be corvids.
That would be 'fledglings'recently-fledged chicks, not quite adults (is there a word for them?) -