Are Crows Intelligent | How Smart are Crows and Ravens?

Until the 21st century, we humans thought of birds as imbecile creatures.

Intelligence was an attribute limited to us humans. But the very intelligence and curiosity propelled us to study wildlife.

Hence, our scientists started studying wildlife, including birds using various observation techniques like satellite transmitters, radio collars, trail cameras, etc.  

It brought forth surprising results. Crows, ravens, and other corvids impressed us with their creativity and intelligence. It also paved the way to a specific question- “Are Crows Intelligent?” Here, we try to answer the query. 

Are crows intelligent? 

Yes, indeed, crows are one of the most intelligent birds despite their brain size being the same as our thumb.

Crows have always been deemed cunning birds, but various studies have left all scientists floored by this bird’s intelligence.  

In one sentence, a crow’s intelligence is considered equivalent to a seven-year-old human child.

Scientists have conducted a series of tests, and several astonishing facts have come forth that give a positive answer to your query, ‘Are crows intelligent birds?

Some of the findings that proved the intelligence of crows are: 

  • Crows can reason out cause and effect and respond accordingly. 
  • Crows understand water displacement. They made the story of the thirsty crow come true in the laboratory.  
  • Crows exhibit varied mental states, just like humans. They can be paranoid, stash food, and show other behavior as well. 
  • Crows can also exercise self-control like us. They do not act purely on instinct and can exercise control and experience anticipation for a better outcome. 
  • Crows plan for the future. They not only hoard useful items like tools, food, etc. but also barter them to procure food and other things they might need.  
  • They use gestures to communicate. They use their beaks like hands and can communicate what they wish to.  
  • Crows like to play just like humans.  
  • Crows are seen using social ostracism against peers who had been selfish as punishment. 
  • Crows understand analogies 
  • Crows can quickly adapt to new situations. They have adapted well to urban lifestyles. Crows have proven to memorize restaurant schedules, garbage days, etc., to maximize their prime scavenging times.  
  • Crows understand analogies and abstract concepts with a flair that is astonishing and impressive.  

Related Read: Do Crows Talk like Parrots? | How do they Communicate?

Are crows the smartest birds? 

A crow’s brain is smaller than a human brain but its relative size compared to the body size is quite similar to us.

More so, research has shown that the crow’s tiny brain makes good use of allocated brain space and probably packs more neurons than even mammals.

It could be the reason why crows are one of the smartest birds present today on earth.  

They exhibit not only extraordinary cognitive skills but also social intelligence. Simultaneously, it must be pointed out that not all crows are equally intelligent. Its degree varies in individual crows, just like in humans.  

Are crows ultimate problem solvers? 

One of the most significant proofs of the crow’s intelligence is its problem-solving ability. Various studies and experiments showed that crows can solve even the most complex of problems.

To solve it, they use several tools as well. What is more impressive is that they can use tools that they might not have used before. 

Moreover, if required, they can create and build their tool and use it with all the agility of pro and solve all complex and impossible-looking puzzles with a flair.  They also value their tools and even save them for future use.  

Related Read: Do Crows Make Nests On Their Own | Do Crows Lay Eggs In Other Bird Nests?

Do crows remember faces? 

Yes, crows have an uncanny ability to understand human faces. We might not be able to differentiate between them, but they have an uncanny ability for it.

They remember people who have been nice to them as well as those who had not been too nice to them.  

Another manifestation of this is the grudge that crows hold against those people who have not been nice to them. More so, they communicate the same to their fellow crows.  

Do crows investigate deaths? 

Another interesting behavior of crows can be seen when any crow dies. A group of crows will gather around the dead crow and make noises similar to humans mourning the dead.

Research showed that this gathering and behavior by crows is to learn about the danger. Once they know the threat, they come up with innovative ways to overcome the danger. 

What about ravens? 

Ravens also show several behaviors that clearly demonstrate their intelligence. They can imitate several calls and even human speech, pre-plan a task just like humans, use hand gestures, roam around in gangs just like human teenagers, show empathy, adaptability, etc.  

Related Read: How Do Crows Sleep? Crows Sleeping Habits | Ways In Which Crows Sleep | Facts & Routines

Final Words 

The more we are studying the crows and ravens, the many new discoveries are coming forth. A crow’s intelligence is still a subject of study, and some wonderful revelations might come forth in the future.

Leave a Comment