I heard my first robin yesterday. Turdus migratorius has a distinctive sound which is a sure sign of spring.  But robins aren’t the only aerial arrivals to signal the end to winter. Crows--big, black and loud--crows are everywhere and they are smarter than you think.New research finds the birds have about the same reasoning ability as a seven-year-old child.

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To find this, researchers put the birds through tests such as the "water displacement test" in which the bird had to catch floating food rewards by dropping rocks into water-filled tubes. Researchers say their tests revealed the birds have the ability to drop sinking rather than floating objects, solid rather than hollow objects, and the ability to distinguish between a tube filled with water and a tube filled with sand.

Researchers say the birds are also the only non-primate species known to create tools that they use to get grubs out of logs and branches. Now that is something to crow about!  Welcome home black beauties.  Give us a caw sometime.  (Daily Mail)