I won’t pretend with you dear readers to write a thread of thought on a food forum, and link it in some obtuse way to what I’m about to discuss here for a few moments.
Now I could mention the uncanny way the brilliant mind operating inside one of nature’s most keenly honed animal’s drops a nut, depending on weight, at the exact height necessary to crack it’s outer hardened husk, but not break it apart entirely as to avoid it’s inevitable destruction by passing traffic or thievery by a fellow flighted compatriot. I won’t do that, but with a specimen as intricate and savvy as the crow, it’s clearly possible.
I could elaborate on the elevated nature that drives the crow to be one of the triad of animals (alongside chimpanzees and elephants) that utilize constructed tools in some form to snag food outside of its reach, of the more advanced occurrences outside of the human realm.
Like I said, I could do make some tenuous connection, but will choose not to as I don’t want to insult the intelligence of our fine readers, both feathered and non feathered.
My recent fascination with this black beauty has come as a myriad of observational discovery. The first being my own eyes peeking outside my front door last week in the early hours of the morn, watching crows in tandem gather nuts buried deep within my street’s bricks, only to flutter off as quickly as they had gathered. My second instance, as I passed the Allegheny Cemetery on the way home from work, was the large allotment that I nearly stopped to photograph, but chose not to as my presence would most definitely have disturbed their natural inclinations. Hundreds upon hundreds of black clad shadows hopped and scuttled about on a field of withered green, stabbing the air with sharp pitched noises as this massive community gathered for some unknown reason before my humbled eyes.
I’m awed by these animals, always have been. Today my third instance was initiated by having the pleasure of watching an immensely compelling episode of Nature via the PBS website. For the sake of being more succinct than I’ve already been, I’d like to share that link, and hope that you spare 50 minutes of your time while noshing down some dinner or a late lunch and revel in the winged marvel that is the world’s most intelligent and adaptable bird.
Some facts that I jotted down while watching this episode were as follows:
– Less than 50% of all crows survive past their first year of life.
– They have distinct warning calls for cats, hawks, and humans.
– Social groups exist that involve families that linger into adulthood where siblings help rear babies alongside their parents for development and assistance.
– Among birds, only a parrot’s brain is larger.
– Regardless of region, they are the most intelligent bird.
– They have a keen sense of facial recognition abilities within the human populace.
– 250 different vocal calls with two different dialects that range from distant to local talk.
– Often they spend up to five years living within their parental groups.
– Crows mate for life, and live for up to 20 years.
– Will group en masse near the dead of their species, not make a sound, and then leave in the same manner.
So the next time that you hear a crow’s caw or see a black shadow loom over your shadow perched in a tree, always remember that the thoughts of this ebony specter are not at all that far off from our own.