Sioux Falls Zoologists

"Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent!"

The mirror test is an experiment developed in 1970 by psychologist Gordon Gallup Jr. to determine whether an animal possesses the ability to recognize itself in a mirror. It is the primary indicator of self-awareness in non-human animals and marks entrance to the mirror stage by human children in developmental psychology. Animals that pass the mirror test are: Humans older than 18 mo, Chimpanzees, Bonobos, Orangutans, Gorillas, Bottlenose Dolphins, Orcas (Killer Whales), Elephants, and European Magpies. Others showing signs of self-awareness are Pigs, some Gibbons, Rhesus Macaques, Capuchin Monkeys, some Corvids (Crows & Ravens) and Pigeons w/training. (Sorry Kitty!)

Sioux Falls Zoologists endorse Bird Brains for leading
the way in exploring crow and raven intelligence.

Bird Brains: The Intelligence of
Crows, Ravens, Magpies, and Jays
By Candace Savage

Bird Brains (1997) - 144 pages
Bird Brains at Amazon.com

Argues that the birds' powers of abstraction, memory, and creativity are equal to those of many mammals.

Birds have long been considered the archetypal featherheads, beautiful but dumb. But one group of birds - the corvids, or members of the crow family - appears to have powers of abstraction, memory, creativity, and insight that put them on a par with many mammals, including, in some instances, higher primates. Bird Brains presents these bright, brassy, and surprisingly colorful birds in a remarkable collection of photographs by more than two dozen of the world's best wildlife photographers and takes a keen look at what makes the corvids the smartest and most highly evolved of all birds.

In an original and scrupulously researched text, Candace Savage describes the life and behavior of 16 representative species of corvids that are widely distributed throughout North America and Europe. Drawing on the most recent research, she suggests that the birds may apply their mental powers to such everyday activities such as choosing mates, building nests, teaching their young, searching for food, and communicating with each other. We meet birds that recognize each other as individuals, call one another by "name," decide whether or not to become independent at maturity, remember and relocated thousands of hidden food caches, engage in true teamwork, and generally exhibit an extraordinary degree of sophistication.

In the exciting collection of close-up images, drawn from the work of Erwin and Peggy Bauer, Fred Bruemmer, Tom and Pat Leeson, Leonard Rue III, Jeff Foott, and Antti Leinonen, among other photographers, the birds are often pictured in intimate moments, as they tend their nests, court their partners, assert their dominance, or challenge eagles and other large raptors. As beautiful and brainy as the birds it celebrates, Bird Brains is a feast for both the eye and the mind.

Candace Savage was born in northern Alberta, Canada, and graduated from the University of Alberta in Edmonton. She is the author of numerous internationally acclaimed books of natural history and science, including Wolves, Grizzly Bears, Wild Cats, and Aurora. She has also written several children's books as part of a series on environmental issues. She lives in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, with her daughter, Diana.

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Bird Brains: The Intelligence of
Crows, Ravens, Magpies, and Jays
By Candace Savage

Sioux Falls Zoologists endorse Bird Brains for leading
the way in exploring crow and raven intelligence.