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How smart are they?

* Smart enough to make and use tools, scientists say. Researchers in New Caledonia (an island chain in the South Pacific) have seen crows use tools to forage for insects and larvae. One tool was made from a barbed twig that a crow had plucked and stripped. Another tool, apparently cut from a leaf, had serrated edges.

* A woman in Ithaca, N.Y., used to throw cold pancakes to a pair of crows near her apartment. She'd watch as the birds stacked the pancakes (largest on the bottom) before flying off with them. When the pancakes were too big, one of the birds would cut them up with its beak first.

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* Crows have been observed to fight vigorously with crows from outside their family. But researchers have also noted that fights between members of the same crow family are rare, gentle, and short-lived, especially compared with those of some other bird species.

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