The Natural World – The Crow

Believe is or not, crows are considered one of the world’s most intelligent animals. They have been seen using breadcrumbs as bait to catch fish or dropping hard-to-open nuts on busy roads and waiting for the nuts to be run over and cracked open. This use of tools has impressed scientists who study the crow, and have found them capable of solving complex puzzles. On the beaches of the Puget Sound it is very common to see a crow pick up a clam, take off, and then drop it on to a rocky area. Eventually the clam will crack open and the crow will have a nice snack.

A group of crows is called a murder, and a roost tree where the murder sleeps can hold as many as 50,000 birds.

While it is hard for humans to tell one crow from the other, crows have been known to identify specific humans, especially “bad” humans who have harmed a fellow crow. They will squawk at and even dive bomb the poor sap.

When you see crows crashing into each other in the air, they are playing a high-speed game of “chicken,” to figure out which crow is dominant.

Originally published in the Steamboat Island Register and used here with permission. For more information or to advertise in the Register, contact Amanda Waggoner at Steamboatreg@gmail.com. The Register is distributed locally. Pick up your copy at the Steamboat Island Coffee Shop.

 

Posted in Nature Notes from the Steamboat Peninsula, Steamboat Island Register.