Thursday, March 5, 2015

In which I tell you why crows are so awesome

https://www.etsy.com/listing/129850292/original-crow-on-a-branch-drawing-raven?ref=market

So. I've always liked crows, knew they were clever, and liked to collect sparkly shiny things. But. I had no idea they were as clever as this...

Apparently there's this little girl named Gabi, who lives in Seattle, who has an especially interesting relationship with the crows in her neighborhood. It began in 2011, when Gabi was four and prone to dropping food. "She'd get out of the car, and a chicken nugget would tumble off her lap. A crow would rush in to recover it. Soon, the crows were watching for her, hoping for another bite. As she got older, she rewarded their attention by sharing her packed lunch on the way to the bus stop. Her brother joined in. Soon, crows were lining up in the afternoon to greet Gabi's bus, hoping for another feeding session."

What's even cooler is that Gabi's mom didn't mind that the crows often got Gabi's lunches and in fact, took an interest them, "offering food as a daily ritual, rather than dropping scraps from time to time." It was after this that the crows began to leave gifts (you can see her whole collection and read the article in its entirety here and I urge you do so; it's a great article!). Now Gabi has a whole storage container full of presents the crows have left her, among them a pearl coloured heart , which she counts among her most prized possessions.

But the most interesting part about this story is what happened with Gabi's mom, Lisa, who "regularly photographs the crows and charts their behavior and interactions." While photographing a bald eagle in the neighborhood, she lost a lens cap in an alley. It turned up on the birdbath at home, and when she checked their bird cam on her computer, she saw a crow bring it into the yard, walk it to the bird bath, and then spend time rinsing the lens!!!

Lisa's comment? "They watch us all the time. I'm sure they knew I dropped it. I'm sure they decided they wanted to return it."

And that's why crows are so bloody awesome.

ps that crow pic is for sale on Etsy; click to see more...I want it.

28 comments:

  1. That's amazing the crow brought her lens cap back. But they say they do remember. I read an article earlier this year about how crows will remember faces. Be mean to one and the whole flock will be out to get you.

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  2. Everytime I see a crow...I think of Edgar Allen Poe. Not sure why? :)

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    1. Probably because of The Raven, an Edgar Allen Poe poem. Ravens are also in the Corvid family, like crows, but they're bigger and their beak is different.

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  3. Wow, what a cool story. Someone should fictionalize that and turn it into a novel. :)

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    1. My son discovered on our own Maine list serve, which has bird info. Someone was kind enough to post it even tho it wasn't local.

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  4. That is awesome! Are you familiar with the book The Cry of the Crow by Jean Craighead George? You would probably enjoy it.

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    1. I just checked it out and added it to my wish list - thanks!

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  5. What a FASCINATING story, Marcy! Thanks for sharing!

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    1. I thought it was pretty interesting, too. I mean, I knew crows were clever but I had no idea they were that clever.

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  6. Love this story. Thanks for sharing it.

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    1. And double thanks for the nice words you left on my blog. You are kind, and it made me smile.

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  7. I has seen that story - and marvelled at it. And, as Alex says, there is evidence that they remember people. And teach their families which people should be avoided.
    Bird-brains? Not so much.

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    1. Crows are very smart. My dad had a pet one when he was young.

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  8. Wow, great story. Be kind to crows...

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  9. I used to feed the crows at the school where I worked. They knew when I arrived at work and gathered to wait for me. I could say more but you know some of those old stories...

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    1. I might want to hear them again...

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  10. I knew crows were smart and I knew they liked to collect shiny things but that's an amazing story about the camera lens.

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  11. Crows are one of my most favorite birds and that's a great story!

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    1. I knew when my son shared it with me, I'd have to share it here.

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  12. What a GREAT story! When my brother and I were growing up, he was forever bringing injured birds home to take care of them. All of those birds were very smart, but the crow was among the smartest. And none of those birds forgot us. Even after they'd been healed and released, they'd come visit with us and sit on our shoulders if we were outside.

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  13. That is a cool story. Who would've thought?

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    1. I know! Crows are crazy smart.

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