A family of birds (Class Aves) that includes Crows, Magpies, Bluejays, Jackdaws, Rooks, Nutcrackers, and more. One of the cooler set of birds, most species are big on playing, from acrobatics to group games like 'tackle the guy with the rock'. This may be related to the fact that they also have the largest cerebral hemispheres relative to body size of any avian family. (They perform well on intelligence tests too, but I don't know that they are the 'best' birds in actual I.Q.)

One example of this intelligence in use is hooded crows in Finland fishing with baited lines left by ice fishermen. The crows would pull the line out of the water, check the line, and lower it back in, stepping on the line so as not to lose it down the hole. They would do this until they caught something or a fisherman caught them.

Corvidae are also monogamous for life, and that life might last 20 years or longer. Crows, at least, are sed to make good pets, although you will need a permit if you live in the USA.

Note: Blackbirds and Currawongs are not Corvidae. They are Icterinae and Cracticidae, respectively.

Natural Acts by David Quammen

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