The Intelligent Crow

Twice a year the Lal Bagh Botanical Gardens of Bangalore hosts flower shows. They have an amazing collection of plants and display various models with flowers and leaves. One such display in the last flower show organized by them, was of the crow dropping pebbles in a pot, based on the famous story of ‘The Thirsty Crow’.

Even the adults there must have been transported back to their childhood days when they would have listened to this bed time story. More than 5000 roses were used we were told.

In one of my previous posts: The Battle of the Bird Brains, I had mentioned about avian intelligence and parrots and pigeons. The Crow family or the Corvids too ranks high in intelligence. In the Audubon Society of Encyclopedia of North American Birds, ornithologist John K. Terres says Corvids have achieved the highest degree of intelligence of any birds. The brain-body ratio of crows equals that of dolphins and is almost same as human beings.

Birds are known to have their genes programmed for various activities and some even have advanced learning capabilities. Of these species crows are credited to play tricks on each other, make tools to suit their requirements and even steal fish from the fishermen’s catch in pots. Many interesting videos are available on net which have recorded these so called intelligent acts of crows.

Clever Crows
Intelligent Crows

And I present one art work by my younger daughter Arundhati, when she was six.

Next time you call someone a bird brain, think twice as Carletta said in my previous post: “Being called a ‘bird brain’ takes on a whole different meaning. :)”

Camera Critters
Load, Loaded, Overloaded!
Asian Openbill-Stork

61 Responses to “The Intelligent Crow

  • Great flower display! I'm also inclined to agree with you on the intelligence of birds. I think they are greatly misunderstood and under appreciated. Arundhati made a wonderful drawing.

  • Crows and Ravens are such facinating birds. I really enjoyed your post.

  • Excellent one, thanks for sharing.

  • Its a great flower festival 🙂
    So many flowers in a model,
    incredible ..
    Friendly colorful post 🙂
    I love flowers !!

    Arundhati (is a beautiful name)
    She is very creative,
    lovely drawing 🙂

  • HI,
    I can only imagine how beautiful that must be in real life. Nice shot! More great info too that ties in with your photo.
    Does your daughter still draw – she showed a lot of talent at age six!
    Not a problem with the quote and thanks for the link! 🙂

  • Marvelous display! And, yes, I think birds are a lot smarter than humans give them credit for — animals and birds in general. Really terrific shots! And Arundhati's drawing is really wonderful! Thanks for sharing!

  • Interesting post. Like your daughter's crow art. Ravens, also Corvids, have a larger vocabulary than parrots.

  • What a great way to utilize roses. Thanks for the bird brain info. I love your daughter's art work. I like her name too.

  • Love artwork by your daughter. I always wish I could draw. 🙂 The display is lovely too.

  • Indrani, when was it? What are dates when the flower show is organized ?

    Last time when I went there, I could see only an empty glass house.

  • Just spent most of my day in the garden… and there is no way I could even collect the volumn of flowers required for something so grand!!

    Love this post – your blog is very enlightening!

    Did Arundhati continue to draw? the drawing shows she had loads of promise at age 6 🙂

  • what a breathtaking view of a flower show.

  • Fantastic drawing by Arundhati! The flowers are like a tribute to the largely unrecognised intelligence of birds.

  • What a beauty! It looks so colourful loved thed the display. And your daughter has a great hand at sketching, loved it too. Really bird watching and bird brains are used in the derogatory sense, but how wrong!!

  • I love this post! The wonderful crow topiary is really special. I really believe birds are smart. I watch them all day long. We've become friends! 😀

  • I especially love this post – I'm a big fan of the corvids. And your daughter's drawing is utterly charming. You could (cross your fingers bahind your back and) tell someone it was by a famous modern master, and no one would even question it!!!

  • I love your daughter's art. You have a very talented daughter. Beautiful flowers.

  • Indrani, I like your daughter's artwork, beautiful drawing.
    Interesting the composition with flowers and leaves.

  • Arundati is a talented young girl. And lovely pictures of lalbaugh.

  • Hi Indrani !! This is so a beautiful crow made of flowers..Great..Will definitely see this exhibition some day..Do check my another blog also i.e.Unseen Rajasthan

  • Very interesting and so creative!
    thanks for sharing
    Luna(from Brazil)

  • Nice shots of a really creative display!

  • A lovely piece of art from Arundhati :)) Like the posture of the bird.

  • Beautiful. I always wanted to see the flower show in Lalbagh. I have not made it still.

  • No I shall never call someone a birdbrain! Here in Holland we say that someone has sawdust in his head. Thank you for this interesting post.

  • I have gone there once last year. The picture of the bird and pot with roses which you have put up is too good! There is a flower show in Ooty too, which happens in summer every year, and is highly popular too!

    Destination Infinity

  • I love going to flower shows, especially the ones where they sculpture things out of flowers.

    That crow and vase are gorgeous.

    That is an amazing drawing by your daughter, especially considering she was only siz when she did it. Some serious talent there..

  • Interesting photos!

  • Very interesting post! and your daughter's artwork was a perfect illustration.
    Thanks for sharing.

  • it has been a while since we saw the flower show at lalbaugh, the last time we went we took both dad & neither is alive, has been 7 years…

  • I love your daughter's drawing. Crows are very smart and represent so many different things in so many traditions.

  • great photos…never seen anything like this and yes having a bird brain can be ok!

  • wow ! beautiful design 🙂

  • that sure was very interesting!

  • Everyone perhaps remembers the story taught during the school days. The same represented using flowers is a really commedable job… beautifully done and beautifully shot!

  • I can see similarity between the flower display and ur girl's art work. 😀

  • Wow,
    I can only imagine how beautiful that must be in real life. Nice shot!

  • Really a very interesting post:
    I love a lot both the flowers and birds!
    Beautiful the photography floral composition and the design of Arundhati is truly remarkable for her age!


  • Before my son moved to the beach he had an apartment in Hollywood, California. A frequent visitor was a crow he named Gilligan, whose favorite pastime was to steal shiny objects when the screen door was left open. My son would warn visitors not to leave their key chains out in the open. All was well until Gilligan took off one day with my son's money clip! After chasing him for a few blocks the money clip was returned. So, crows play tricks on their human friends also!

  • Great work of a busy working mind with plenty of patience and ingenuity. Amazing photographs.

  • I liked your blog very much.I appreciate for the lovely post.
    You are welcome in my blogs.

  • I like your daughter's artwork. This was a wonderful post. Thanks.

  • The drawing is beautiful – I actually like it better than the rose sculpture. There is a famous book called "The Mind of The Raven" by a man who studied a group of crows over a number of years, although African Grey Parrots are no slouches.

    I have just been watching "The Fall" , directed by Tarsem Singh. I wonder how many old forts in India he used – I believe I recongnized some from this blog.

  • Excellent, but it is your daughter's work that I liked the best.

  • Nice display and story of crows intellectual. First time Chennai hold a flower festival recently and it also has things and a dinosaur displayed in flowers.

    my wishes to your daughter 🙂

  • A wonderful post. I've long known that crows are very intelligent birds. From what I've heard, their language is quite sophisticated. I love watching them call to one another and gather. Your daughter's drawing is terrific. 🙂

  • Your daughter's art work is very mature for a 6 year old. She's very talented!

  • Love that sketch by your daugther. Does she continue to paint?

  • Love the sketch that your daughter did and that floral display is fantastic. really enjoyed the post.

  • Great post Indrani!

  • Hi Indrani
    Happened to stumble on to your blog and found it very interesting. Terrific phtographs from Lalbagh & interesting facts about crows & bird brains!

    Please feel free to read my blog.

    best Regards Ram

  • Interesting!

  • I've been in this garden in Bangalore (and, then, in Tamil Nadu for holidays) five years ago…I remember that experience with intensity.

  • Mother and daughter are both so talented! I could not believe that that drawing was the work of a 6 year old! Bravo to her.
    This brought back fond memories of the story of the crow and the stones (was it Panchatantra – or Aesop?) Interesting links on avian intelligence – thanks.

  • Daughter is just as gifted as momma! She is only six and has done such a beautiful drawing. Congrats to her!

  • That is an awesome little display. Could you please post a few more shots from the flower show?

  • Thanks for reminding us that it not just the humans who are inteligent!

    lovely post.. and we have a budding artist at home.. does she still draw?

  • Interesting display at Lal Bagh. And you've developed the crow theme so well!

  • Arundhati is great in shading!

  • indrani, just now i stumbled upon this article on some clever act by 3 pigeons:

    may be interesting to you 🙂

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