Our pandemic friends.
They are the curious wings that loom above, and whom in spite of the shadows they inspire have stripped the gloom of endless days. A light heart of playfulness under a dark cloak of feathers. Bright and smart as mischievous kids, they crafted joy from the tricks they played on us.
In the wake of the pandemic, we did not expect the crows to become allies and the bulk of a reduced social life. But their alien yet surprisingly endearing nature along with their baffling intelligence gave us more to think about than we would have ever expected.
A very strong dichotomy defines the bulk of their inquisitive nature. With a mind surfing between a very intense curiosity & a deep paranoia, they are careful yet thorough investigators.
Each couple, and each individual has distinct personalities. Some are shy and gentle, others bold and playful. Some are smart enough to get you to understand exactly what they want from you.
The trust they give to one another, and rarer to us, is carefully measured. But once established has a genuine quality that is valued by its rarity.
Thriving in the shadow of our civilization, they seem to have tightened invisible bonds. From the sky up above they  rule, fight and learn on transparent realms we can not see. Observing us, looming in a background behind our every move they slowly get wiser, riding the complex tidal waves of urban ecosystems
Puzzle n*1
I improvised brain teasers for one of the crows we named Phobos.
He is a highly curious, highly motivated, somewhat patient, and more experienced male. His curiosity made him an acute observer of my actions, and a perfect candidate for the little experiment.
He was able to reverse my actions for every puzzle he saw me close, after he was familiarized with the pieces. He was actually so fast at opening them that I have yet to to shoot him in one go, because he's usually halfway through it by the time I get to my camera and I really wanted nice images. I removed food from the 2nd jar after second try. But none of the puzzles seem to have been a challenge so far. So I'm stepping up in complexity.
This was not months of training it was all done in one day.
Lets remember he is not a pet. He is not trained. And I would prefer him to keep a healthy fear of humans. And I try to keep interaction low. He is your wild average jumpy - suspicious - curious crow who really really does not like new stuff but also really want to know what it is all about especially if there's food somewhere.

The private mini fridge
Accidentally, Phobos did recognized the puzzle that I stored on my balcony for cleanliness and came to probe it a few times. I thus replaced it with magic boxes. With only scarce treats not to discourage a healthy foraging and fishing habit.
Not knowing I was the one refilling it I saw him closing the boxes repeatedly and check again expectantly. He stopped doing that after a couple times. But that did look a lot like causal reasoning to me.

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