Wikipedia says that Western Scrub Jays may be among the most intelligent of animals, with a brain-to-body mass ratio akin to that of chimpanzees, and “dwarfed only by that of humans.” They can “remember locations of over 200 food caches, as well as the food items in each cache and its rate of decay.”
With all the uses for service dogs these days, maybe it’s time to enlist “service birds.” That whole rate-of-decay capability would be great for keeping my refrigerator in shape. And I could certainly use help in remembering the locations of things. The Scrub Jay may not be very good at helping to keep tabs on things like car keys, though. They like to hide shiny objects.
What really intrigues me is that (according to Wikipedia) Scrub Jays are also the only non-primate animals who have been shown to actually plan for the future. I’m thinking of setting out a handful of nuts and berries on my deck, inconspicuously strewn atop an outline of my retirement portfolio. When the Scrub Jay comes down to check on the rate of decay for the berries, he might drop a comment or two about the rate of return on my investments and help me plan for my future, too.
Or he might just drop bird doo on my deck, but I think it’s worth a try. You know the saying, “a little bird told me…” Even though its call is described as "harsh and scratchy," I’d say the intelligent Western Scrub Jay just may be one bird worth listening to.