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Here's the falcon (common kestrel) perched. It's the same one I got in flight and posted a few days ago. It was lovely to see it but I really need a longer lens. :-)
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Today I met a kestrel. Better pics of it perched to follow tomorrow.

+Sandy Vetter made me do it. ;-)
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There are plenty of reasons to admire the corvids. They are not only Odin's companions but representatives of dinosaurs. We're only now beginning to design experiments that uncover the intelligence inherent in many animals. I can tell you that watching animals in the wild they are crafty, but structured experiements reveal more precisely how smart they are. Personally, I think our ancient, fossilized friends shared many cognitive traits with modern birds.

In a series of four experiments, we investigated whether ravens (Corvus corax) plan domain-flexibly (14). Each experiment included two main conditionsโ€”a technical and a social oneโ€”for which ravens lack behavioral predispositions: tool-use and bartering with humans. Ravens are not habitual tool users, and bartering has never been observed in the wild. The experiments were mainly chosen because they replicate key experiments with primates (1โ€“4, 14, 15). Specifically, we tested whether ravens can make decisions for an event 15 min into the future (experiment 1), and over longer intervals of 17 hours (experiment 2). We additionally tested whether ravens can exert self-control when making decisions for the future (experiment 3).
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This study suggests that ravens make decisions for futures outside their current sensory contexts, and that they are domain-general planners on par with apes. In the tool conditions, including self-control, the ravens were at least as proficient as tool-using apes (1, 2, 15). In the bartering conditions, the ravens outperformed orangutans, bonobos, and particularly chimpanzees (3, 4, 15). [Detailed comparisons are available in (14).] The first trial performances show that the ravensโ€™ behaviors were not a result of habit formation, and that they perform better than 4-year-old children in a comparable set-up (16).

The original paper is here: http://science.sciencemag.org/content/357/6347/202.full


Most people are sharing this article which is easier to read. I think I saw +Paul Hodson and +miri dunn share this article. I'm sure other people reported on it too.

https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/wj8p3n/ravens-are-so-smart-one-hacked-this-researchers-experiment
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Buchfink / Common Chaffinch

Fringilla coelebs Male. seen near Burg Hohen Neuffen, Germany.

Not an ideal position for this pose due to the distracting twigs but I take what the animals give me. At least you can see the coloration and the beak well.
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"Feather Detail"

h/t to +I am not Alice where I saw that today's #joinindaily by +Johnny Wills has the theme #featherdetail

This is one of those pics (just a crop from a downsized version) I took because I liked the details but never figured I'd have a use for.

Have a great weekend!
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Roadrunner at it again

Not satisfied with spoiling Wile E. Coyote's ingenious plans, this roadrunner snacks on hummingbirds....
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Not just Owls - Falcons too!

Apparently today is also a big day for Falcons.

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Definitely belongs with the raptors.
Superb Owl Day

Thanks to a friend for alerting me about today. I think this is a pretty darn superb specimen.

Enjoy your day and celebration of owls! Athena would be pleased. I certainly am.


h/t +Sandy B
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Cute Video

Sometimes the smart bird lets the farmer get the worm for them. Here's a video of a smart little bird.
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