Saturday, May 18, 2013

More Crow Stories

Special thanks to our friend Chandel for sending along the wonderful photo below of a crow targeting a bald eagle.  

More evidence of crows bravely serving as sentinels of the forest.  In this case, she explained, the eagle was unfazed and did not retreat, however, the crow’s commotion served as a warning and saved countless creatures like rabbits, muskrats, ducks, geese, raccoons and even fawns!  All hail, the incredible and courageous crow!

(from around the web)

 --crows can scavenge twice their body weight in food each day.

--cows have funerals for their dead comrades in which hundreds of crows from all around attend.

--crows are known for their adaptable characteristics as they can survive in a variety of habitats, from the icy polar areas, woodlands, plains, mountains, to farms and urban areas as well. 

--The first crows appeared in Miocene, 17 million years ago, in Australia and Oceania. Crows belong in the Corvidae family, which counts over 120 species spread all over the world, excepting Antarctica.

--Crows are the smartest birds in the world. They are much more intelligent than the owls or any other prey birds. Besides, they are more clever, sly and tricky than a parrot.

--When specialists made some intelligence tests on dogs, cats, pigs and crows, the last ones won beyond question. Moreover, a study made in 2004 revealed that crows are more intelligent than bonobo chimpanzees. In other words, crows are the smartest creatures on earth, after humans. This is why, many scientist started referring to these birds as feathered apes.

--Crows have a complex language and each “caw” can have a different meaning. They can warn a dangerous situation, they can mimic the sounds made by other animals, or they can even learn how to associate noises with certain events.  Captive crows can learn to talk.
--In the wild, crows live an average of 10 years. In captivity they can live up to 30 years.

--Crows are omnivores meaning they eat everything from meat and bugs to grains and vegetables.  They also eat carrion and thus play a role as "nature's clean up crew."  Farmers don't like it when crows eat their crops, so they put up scarecrows, however, the crows aren't really scared of them because they're smart enough to know it's not a real person.  But the farmers are mistaken because crows don't damage the crops that much.  Instead, they actually help farmers by eating the bad insects in their crops.

--Crows store some of their food in short-term caches, which are hiding places for food that are scattered around, rather than in one place. They may be in tree crevices or on the ground, where they are often covered with leaves or other materials. Crows are also tricksters and pretend to cache their food when another crow is looking, then later they hide it in another spot.

--When not breeding, thousands of crows gather in areas called roosts where they sleep together. It is safer for them to stay together and avoid predators like cats, owls, hawks, snakes and humans. Crows will group together to caw (yell) at and chase predators. This behavior is called mobbing.

--Crows are very social and live in family groups from 2 to 15 birds. They forage (look for food) together and preen (clean) each other.

--Crow offspring (children) often stay with their families and help raise new babies.
--Crows, Ravens and other Corvids, are considered to be the most intelligent of all birds. They  make and use tools such as bending a piece of wire into a hook to retrieve something they want, or placing nuts in the path of an oncoming car to break them open. They have an excellent memory and can recognize people's faces. Your neighborhood crows will get to know you well especially if you throw them shelled peanuts or dog kibble.

--Corvids are also self-aware like humans, primates and dolphins.


  1. THANK YOU! For posting my photo! :) While hiking today I witnessed again crows trying to make a red shouldered hawk vacate their territory, the crows were successful! Although while returning to their perch a red winged blackbird was very uncomfortable with their closeness to his nest and jumped on one of the crows back (mid flight mind you) and started pecking away until the crow was no longer near his gotta love nature !! :)

  2. Chandel, where do you go hiking?

    1. today, I was in Alpine, but I hike all of San Diego County (inland, mountains, canyons :)) and whenever time an weather permits I like to go out to the desert (anza Borrego and the salton Sea)

  3. Chandel, you take lovely photos. Any you would like to share, just send along. Happy hiking!


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