Gregory Peck has learnt a game… or he’s taught me one…
I placed a fir cone on a shelf for him. The shelf is at an end of the cage with a door in it. The shelf splits the door opening, so with the door open, you can either reach in to the shelf, or the floor.
Anyway, I opened the door, placed the cone on the shelf to encourage him to investigate.
He walked under the edge of the shelf, reached up and grabbed the fir cone and placed it on the cage floor, just under the shelf.
I opened the end door, he stood back so I could get the cone. I reached under the shelf, took the cone & placed it on the shelf again.
Once more, he hopped forward, reached up & took the cone, placing it nearer the middle of the cage floor.
I opened the door, reached under the shelf, took the cone & placed it back on the shelf. Again, Gregory hopped over, reached up and took the cone to the middle of the cage this time.
I went to get the cone again, but as Gregory had put it further inside, I had to duck down and reach in under the shelf…
…and with a flurry of wings he flew/leapt onto the shelf (shown no signs of that before) and hopped to the open door!
I stood up and blocked his way from escaping, but he just sat there… watching… then turned around and hopped down to the cone & flicked it.
Yeah, not likely Gregory! I know your plan!
I thought he was learning to play a game, but he was already one step ahead and playing me!
I tell you, these birds are astounding! I knew they were clever, but this is a step above learning to do something for reward by repetitive training! This is thinking things through, observing, testing…
Damn smart bird!
Once he’s healthy & got his feathers back, we’ll see if he wants to fly. A bit undecided, as he’s an old chap we think, and we may have rescued him on his last wild legs. Old, & with a prior respiratory infection, stiff wings, and a mostly bald head, it’s unlikely he’d survive winter in the wild.
Further checks over him show medium sized jaw teeth marks on his back, across his wings and chest, as if he has been caught & held by a dog. He’s a lucky crow.
We may end up making a large outdoor aviary for him. Protected freedom.