Corvids’ creative feeding strategy is a big hit
We were in Northern Ireland recently, near the shore of Strangford Lough. We watched a Hooded Crow fluttering up and down quite close to the ground. My husband suggested it was trying to crack something open by dropping it. The bird then gave up that strategy and walked along the shore a bit, and picked up what looked like a piece of rock. Could it have been intending to use this rock to help break open whatever it was dropping earlier?
QCorvids are very intelligent birds, and many species have displayed tool use in a variety of situations, and in some very creative ways. Crows in Japan have learned to use cars to crack walnuts for them by deliberately leaving the nuts on pedestrian crossings, and the New Caledonian Crow has been recorded manufacturing hook-shape tools to help them extract insects from their hiding places. As for your Hoodie, it is entirely possible that, frustrated by earlier efforts to break into a shellfish or similar, this bird decided to grab a hammer to do the job properly!