Bringing the Text to Life
Solomon was a birdbrain.
That is neither disrespectful of Solomon nor of birds.
Forget the idea of birds as nothing more than "archetypal featherheads" bobbing about for worms; chirping beaked babblers whose brains are little more than a tiny mass of dizzy neurons. New research on the corvids (members of the crow family) shows powers of abstraction, memory, creativity and insight that put them on a par with many mammals, including primates. A new book by Candice Savage, Bird Brains: The Intelligence of Crows, Ravens, Magpies and Jays (Sierra Club Books, 1997), presents these "bright, brassy and colorful birds in a new light, as possibly the most highly evolved of all avian species."
Scientific research indicates that birds have episodic memory, something previously believed to be unique to humans. According to Nature magazine, a team of British and American behavioral scientists recently discovered that scrub jays remember not only where, but also when, they hid...