Several species of birds have been recognized as tool-users in the animal kingdom. Perhaps the most renowned avian tool-user is the Woodpecker Finch of the Galapagos Islands, which uses a cactus spine or wooden splinter to obtain hidden insects out of holes in the wood. This bird is clever enough not only to use a tool, but also to “manufacture” its instrument if not available! Egyptian Vultures use stones as tools to crack an ostrich egg, while Macaws have been shown to utilize rope to fetch items that would normally be difficult to reach. The Green Heron has one of the most remarkable tool-using techniques. The heron will cast bait such as insects, berries twigs and even feathers into the water, then crouch down and wait for the curious or hungry fish that comes to the surface for a meal. Many other species such as Parrots, the extraordinary Corvids and a range of Passerines, have also been noted as tool-users. If you happen to identify a feeding bird, take the time to observe it and notice its extraordinary behavior… They are truly spectacular!