Hawaiian crows can use sticks as tools but are nearly extinct

It’s certainly something to crow about. New Caledonian crows are known for their ingenious use of tools to get at hard-to-reach food. Now it turns out that their Hawaiian cousins are adept tool-users as well.

Christian Rutz at the University of St Andrews in the UK has spent 10 years studying the New Caledonian crow and wondered whether any other crow species are disposed to use tools.

So he looked for crows that have similar features to the New Caledonian crow – a straight bill and large, mobile eyes that allow it to manipulate tools, much as archaeologists use opposable thumbs as an evolutionary signature for tool use in early humans.

“The Hawaiian crow really stood out,” he says. “They look quite similar.” Read more in New Scientist.