If you’ve got 10 minutes I suggest you watch this insightful TED Talk on crows and their ability to solve problems. It shows some great examples of how they can quickly adapt to a situation through trial and error and also pass their knowledge on.
For those with slow internet connections I suggest you press play, but then pause it immediately and allow the entire video to download before watching it. The red line that creeps along the bottom of the video represents the amount downloaded.
It warms the cockles of my heart when my non-birding friends take an interest in birds. A close friend – Craig Banks – was very excited when he watched a Black-headed Heron catch a Cape Molerat in Hermanus this past weekend. He even had the composure to take some photos and video. He made me promise that I’d post it on GetBirding, so here it is.
For those with slow internet connections I suggest you press play and then pause it immediately. Wait for it to load completely (red line to the end) before pressing play again.
Despite my “tongue-in-cheek” tone directed at my non-birding friends, I would like to encourage others to send in any photos or videos of interesting birds or birding experiences.
A bird tour in Gambia (a humorous account from a novice birding spouse)
“It’s more than 40C (104F) and I’m not in charge of anything. I’m ducking from one inadequate scrap of bushy shade to the next behind a straggle of sweating binoculared figures chasing Hassan, our local bird guide. Hassan runs marathons in the Gambian sun.” [Telegraph]
Sage Grouse under pressure (great Sage Grouse lekking video)
For those with slow internet connections I suggest playing the video then pausing it immediately. Wait for it to load completely (wait for the red line to reach the end) and then play it. [Oregonlive]
Here’s a video that runs through a variety of bird displays. Has anyone ever seen grebes displaying like that? It must rank amongst the top birding experiences. Something I’ve always wanted to see is a raptor cartwheel display. I’ve missed one by 10 seconds, which adds to the desire…
For those with slow internet connections I suggest playing the video then pausing it immediately. Wait for it to load completely (wait for the red line to reach the end) and then play it. Enjoy.
Another video from Wayne Petersen; this time on how to use a spotting scope for birding. It’s not an earth shattering account, but for those who are new to birding and spotting scopes you may find it helpful.
Crows are known to be intelligent birds, but research has indicated that they may be more intelligent than we think; they can apparently identify individual people by their faces. There are anecdotal stories of Indian House Crows (Corvus splendens) recognising individual people in India. Conservation officials who set poisoned bait for these birds were purportedly instantly recognised and harassed by the crows when they returned to the area. The story goes so far as to suggest that crows in other areas also recognised and harassed these officials, but this cannot be verified. This from npr.org: