"As the crow flies" may be a classic way to describe the most direct path between two points, but sometimes these intelligent birds just want to hitch a ride on mass transit, sit back and enjoy the view.

While waiting in line for a train ticket earlier this month in Japan, Twitter user Kinoshita Shoji captured a remarkable scene involving a crow and a ticket machine. With prospective passengers seemingly unfazed by the large black bird in their midst, the video shows the bird attempting to use the machine. After a couple of seconds of frustration, it makes the connection that if it inserts something, like say a small rectangular piece of plastic, a reward of some sort will come out. It then hilariously steals the credit card of the woman to its left and tries just that!

From what we've read online, the crow never did punch its ticket to some unknown destination. It did, however, kindly return the card to its owner.

Those familiar with the intelligence of crows — regarded as one of the smartest animals on Earth — won't be surprised to hear that one attempted to mimic human behavior in search of some reward. After all, these are the same birds that appear to hold vigils for their dead, learn to make tools through homeschooling, give treasures to generous young children and seemingly obey "do not enter" signs.

So yes, if you see a crow struggling to make a purchase in the future, lend a hand. In the immortal words of Lennon and McCartney, even birds, it seems, sometimes need a ticket to ride.

Michael d'Estries ( @michaeldestries ) covers science, technology, art, and the beautiful, unusual corners of our incredible world.