JAN 31, 2018 09:23 AM PST

Can we teach crows to pick up litter?

3 9 408

With all the litter in the world, you would think that we would have figured out a smart way to start collecting it, right? Well, turns out a Dutch start-up is working on just that with an unlikely ally: crows. Crowded Cities has begun training crows to pick up cigarette butts with a device called the Crowbar. The start-up decided to focus on cigarettes because they are the most littered object on the planet; we litter an estimated 4.5 trillion cigarette butts annually, and the plastic inside cigarette filters can take up to 10 years to decompose.

Employing crows, one of the smartest birds out there in the corvid family, plays on the birds' natural intelligence and social behavior. Here's how it works: Step 1. the crows bring a cigarette filter to the Crowbar, where they drop it into the bottom funnel to get it checked. Step 2: After the camera has recognized the cigarette filter as a filter, it returns a bit of food to the table in front of the crow. Step 3: The crow tells other crows and they learn by example. Sounds, amazing, no? Learn more about this awesome idea by watching the video above!
About the Author
  • Kathryn is a curious world-traveller interested in the intersection between nature, culture, history, and people. She has worked for environmental education non-profits and is a Spanish/English interpreter.
You May Also Like
JUL 09, 2018
Videos
JUL 09, 2018
How Spiders Use Electricity To Fly
Spider rains, or ballooning spiders, are a natural phenomenon believed by scientists to be caused by the silken threads of these unique insects that genera
JUL 10, 2018
Videos
JUL 10, 2018
At Four Years Old, This Girl Takes Her First Steps
Cerebral palsy (CP) is a neurological condition that is usually present at birth. It’s common in children born prematurely. For one little girl, Maya
JUL 15, 2018
Videos
JUL 15, 2018
Can Animals Appreciate Music?
  Our appreciation of rhyme and rhythm might not be unique. Animals may also be music lovers. Using music studies done on crocodiles, the researchers
JUL 22, 2018
Videos
JUL 22, 2018
Goodbye to Louisiana
One-fourth of Louisiana’s coastline has already disappeared since just the 1930s. Every hour, Louisiana loses about a football field of land to the s
JUL 29, 2018
Space & Astronomy
JUL 29, 2018
Algae in Space: A Potential Food and Fuel Source?
During SpaceX’s recent CRS-15 launch, a mission to resupply the International Space Station with fresh supplies, the commercial space company’s
AUG 13, 2018
Videos
AUG 13, 2018
Some Ways of Healing the Brain Actually Damage It
Fixing the body usually involves “doing no harm” since that is part of the Hippocratic Oath doctors take. However, to repair the brain, sometim
Loading Comments...