Rutz and a team of researchers worked with a group of 104 ‘Alalā, or Hawaiian crows and discovered that they used sticks in ways that are very similar to New Caledonian crows. Though the two species are not closely related, they have a few traits in common. Both have long, straight beaks and eyes that are very mobile, which the researchers believe make them particularly adept at using their beaks to guide sticks. To grab a tasty grub out of a log, a crow has to find a stick of the right length, smooth it by removing bark or branches, and then thread it into a small opening to root around and yank out the unlucky invertebrate.
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