I think we might need to rethink animal intelligence.  Bird intelligence, specifically.  Not all birds.  I have worked with turkeys and chickens in the past, and can assure you they are dumber than shit.  Basically, vegetables on legs.
But, I recently (well, a few months ago) saw a video of some birds, some species of hawk or falcon, I would think, swooping down and plucking up and smoldering piece of grass near the edge of a forest fire, flying with it a hundred meters or so, and then putting it back down – thus spreading the fire and giving themselves a buffet table of crispy critters to dine on.  Of course, in one way, that’s just as stupid as human behavior because it’s forest destruction, and long term that will be even more devastating for birds than humans, but it does show a degree of future planning, and an ability to design and use tools.
Then, a few days ago, I saw a different kind of bird – I don’t know, maybe it was a crow but it looked a bit smallish even for that.  He (or it could have been she – I am using he as a pronoun of convenience) was spitting a piece of bread out of his beak and waiting for a fish to nibble at it, at which point he would get right in there with his beak, quick as instant, and get a fish dinner.  The birds have discovered the concept of bait.
Then, just a couple of minutes ago, I watched a short video of a parrot cutting strips of paper out of a magazine – not ragged strips, but strips any seamstress would be proud to call her own – and using them to make a tail extension.  Ornamentation.  Definitely something archaeologists look for around human skeletons to see how far along the evolutionary path the poor, ancient creatures were.
Now, here’s my question:  Have birds always done these things and human beings were always too stupid to notice, which is certainly possible, or are they actually evolving.  As we speak, as we watch?  Because that would be awesome.

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