Big bird brains rool, OK!

Excessive cogitation causes canary brains to explode, providing much entertainment for small children.

And so it goes. First it was African gray parrots demonstrating they were smarter than elephants. (See video.)

Then it was crows and their ilk displaying foresight and tool-making skills. (Click on photo.)

Now we’ve got bait-fishing herons.

From The Scientist


Bait use in birds

After reviewing the literature, researchers concluded bait fishing by certain species of herons is a real and distinct behavior. Bait fishing is characterized by a bird placing an attractive, buoyant object on the water within striking distance, and waiting for their prey to swim up — a behavior some consider tool use.

Graeme D. Ruxton and Michael H. Hansell, “Fishing with a Bait or Lure: A Brief Review of the Cognitive Issues,” Ethology, 117:1-9, 2011.

Read more: Behavior brief – The Scientist – Magazine of the Life Sciences

Next we’ll be reading that canaries proved Gödel’s first incompleteness theorem long ago, and ever since, when they’re not screwing around deriving prime integers, they’ve devoted themselves mainly to poetic/melodic characterizations of existence in this sim of a simulated reality, which is all we’ve got.

In fact it’s sims all the way down to the turtle. At least according to the canaries.

Arguably my blog posts show new character since the exercise machine crushed my head on New Year’s morning. What say you, Bill  the Mathematician?


For more on smart mynah birds, see the following:

Mysterious Bangkok deaths solved?

Dynomynas, flying lizards and other local wildlife



The heron photograph is by Ted Miller; it won 3rd prize at the 2006 Wildbird contest.

2 thoughts on “Big bird brains rool, OK!”

  1. Stop distracting from global appreciation of the sublime intelligence of the all-seeing Leader of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea! This is a warning. If you ignore it, your apartment AND the coffee shop where you write will become part of a Sea of Fire.

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