New research has revealed that rooks’ ability to use tools rivals that of chimpanzees. Using captive birds, British scientists created a series of increasingly complex problems and observed the rooks creating and using implements to solve the puzzles. As the appropriately-named lead author Christopher Bird said: “We have found that they can select the appropriate tools out of a choice of tools and they show flexibility in the types of tools they use.” They also witnessed the birds demonstrating so-called “meta-tool use”—operating two tools in succession. Amazingly, several of the birds even created a new device by bending a piece of straight wire into a hook in order to retrieve a bucket laden with food from the bottom of the vertical well. That was a skill only previously mastered by a New Caledonian crow called Betty.
Definitely not bird brains
Research shows rooks can solve problems using a variety of tools