Sioux Falls Zoologists

"Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent!"

The mirror test is an experiment developed in 1970 by psychologist Gordon Gallup Jr. to determine whether an animal possesses the ability to recognize itself in a mirror. It is the primary indicator of self-awareness in non-human animals and marks entrance to the mirror stage by human children in developmental psychology. Animals that pass the mirror test are: Humans older than 18 mo, Chimpanzees, Bonobos, Orangutans, Gorillas, Bottlenose Dolphins, Orcas (Killer Whales), Elephants, and European Magpies. Others showing signs of self-awareness are Pigs, some Gibbons, Rhesus Macaques, Capuchin Monkeys, some Corvids (Crows & Ravens) and Pigeons w/training. (Sorry Kitty!)

Sioux Falls Zoologists endorse Gifts of the Crow for
exploring in depth the social behavior, culture,
and amazing intelligence of crows.

Gifts of the Crow
How Perception, Emotion, and Thought
Allow Smart Birds to Behave Like Humans
By John Marzluff and Tony Angell

Gifts of the Crow (2013) - 320 pages
Gifts of the Crow at Amazon.com

How Perception, Emotion, and Thought Allow Smart Birds to Behave Like Humans.

CROWS ARE MISCHIEVOUS, playful, social, and passionate. They have brains that are huge for their body size and exhibit an avian kind of eloquence. They mate for life and associate with relatives and neighbors for years. And because they often live near people - in our gardens, parks, and cities - they are also keenly aware of our peculiarities, staying away from and even scolding anyone who threatens or harms them and quickly learning to recognize and approach those who care for and feed them, even giving them numerous, oddly touching gifts in return.

With his extraordinary research on the intelligence and startling abilities of corvids - crows, ravens, and jays - scientist John Marzluff teams up with artist-naturalist Tony Angell to tell amazing stories of these brilliant birds in Gifts of the Crow. With narrative, diagrams, and gorgeous line drawings, they offer an in-depth look at these complex creatures and our shared behaviors. The ongoing connection between humans and crows - a cultural coevolution - has shaped both species for millions of years. And the characteristics of crows that allow this symbiotic relationship are language, delinquency, frolic, passion, wrath, risk-taking, and awareness - seven traits that humans find strangely familiar. Crows gather around their dead, warn of impending doom, recognize people, commit murder of other crows, lure fish and birds to their death, swill coffee, drink beer, turn on lights to stay warm, design and use tools, use cars as nutcrackers, windsurf and sled to play, and work in tandem to spray soft cheese out of a can. Their marvelous brains allow them to think, plan, and reconsider their actions.

With its abundance of funny, awe-inspiring, and poignant stories, Gifts of the Crow portrays creatures who are nothing short of amazing. A testament to years of painstaking research and careful observation, this fully illustrated, riveting work is a thrilling look at one of nature's most wondrous creatures.

John Marzluff, PhD, is Professor of Wildlife Science at the University of Washington. His research has been the focus of articles in The New York Times, National Geographic, Audubon, Boys' Life, The Seattle Times, and National Wildlife. PBS's Nature featured his raven research in it's production "Ravens" and his crow research in the documentary film "A Murder of Crows."

Tony Angell has authored and/or illustrated a dozen award-winning books related to natural history. Most recently, his drawings in the coauthored book In the Company of Crows and Ravens received the prestigious Victoria and Albert Museum illustration prize.

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Gifts of the Crow
How Perception, Emotion, and Thought
Allow Smart Birds to Behave Like Humans
By John Marzluff and Tony Angell

Sioux Falls Zoologists endorse Gifts of the Crow for
exploring in depth the social behavior, culture,
and amazing intelligence of crows.