Crows are long associated with creepiness
A “murder” is a group of them. Perhaps birds get a bad reputation because of their intelligence.hort wave spoke with Kaeli SWIFT, a University of Washington lecturer who wrote her doctoral thesis about crow behavior. She gives three examples of crow intelligence.
It didn’t matter what gender or body type the person wearing the mask was — the crows seem to be able to focus on the face. Researchers tried flipping the mask upside-down to see if they could recognize it. Swift says that the crows appeared confused for a moment and then would tilt their heads upside down to start alarm-calling.
Even crows who weren’t tagged or banded were scolded by Swift and dive-bombed by the person wearing the dangerous mask. Swift claims that the crows were learning from their peers about how dangerous this person was.Crows can remember faces for years, which is another reason to be kind to them.
Crows hold “funerals,” or funerals, for their deceased
Humans are not the only ones that remember their deceased. American crows can mark the passings of their deceased in two ways. They either use alarm calls or loud scolds to do so. Mobbing occurs when several crows hear the alarm call and gather around the dead bird to scold it. Swift says that this usually takes around 15 to 20 mins. Bird Flying
Swift and John Marzluff (research partner) conducted an experiment in order to understand why American Crows do this. The “funerals”, it turns out, have less to do than eulogies or dirges. They are more about identifying the cause of the death. It also involves spreading awareness about possible dangers.
Researchers fed crows for several days to attract them to the area. They also calculated how long it took for them to get down to eat
A mask-wearing person brought a dead crow into this area. The crows dive-bombed the person and scolded them. The birds dive-bombed the person again if the same mask was worn later. Swift said that if they saw someone holding a dead bird, they would learn the face of the person and be convicted by association.
After the area was deemed dangerous, the crows returned to their feeding grounds slower. Swift states that this suggests that the crows learned from their experience that Cheetos were tempting. Swift also said that there had been a dead crow nearby earlier so they should have been more careful before they came down to get their snack. Same, crows. Same.
Crows make and use tools
Primate are often the first thing that comes to mind when we think of animals who use tools. Crows are a surprise, however. Swift says that New Caledonian Crows are “flying primates”. They make hooked tools, which are basically twigs made into hooks for catching bugs in wood.
She says that while there are many animals that can use tools, it is much harder to modify a material for a specific purpose. Swift says that although some primates can make tools in captivity while others have used them in captivity for their own purposes, Swift believes these crows are the only animal that uses hooks to keep its hands free in the wild.
Consider showing a little more respect to a crow next time you see it. The crow will not forget.
Crows are able to remember human faces
This was discovered by wildlife biologists who conducted a simple experiment with rubber masks. For example, a “caveman” mask was deemed dangerous while a mask worn by former Vice President Dick Cheney was considered neutral. Researchers using the dangerous mask captured and banded American crows, and then released them. Swift said that while they tried to avoid harming the birds, trapping was still an extremely frightening experience for them.
Researchers returned to the site and donned the masks in order to see if the birds remembered the danger. Swift said that if they saw the danger face, Swift said, “they would alarm-call and dive-bomb that person.” “The neutral face was mostly ignored.