Wednesday, January 28, 2009
The American Crow is an intelligent and interesting bird. I first learned of this bird’s intelligence from the book Wild Animals I Have Known (by Ernest Thompson Seton). Writing over a hundred years ago, Seton devoted one chapter to a crow named Silverspot. (Read “Silverspot: The Story of a Crow” online at the Baldwin Online Children’s Literature Project.)
As you’ll learn in the chapter on Silverspot, crows are extraordinarily intelligent, organized, social, and attentive to young. I love how they communicate with one another. For instance, whenever I go outside with the dogs, there’s always at least one crow, acting the role of scout, who alerts the others to my presence. I often see pairs perched closely together on tree branches, sharing affection. And who hasn’t heard a flock of crows squabbling amongst themselves or following a leader’s call to head out this way or that. They’re extremely gregarious, which is why I like them.
Yet another reason I like crows is that they can alert me to the location of owls and/or hawks. Crows are fearful of these predators and devote themselves utterly to agitating the lone owl or hawk who wanders into their territory. For even more interesting info on the American Crow, check out this black beauty on the Web site All About Birds, Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s online birding guide.
Next time you hear a flock of crows in the neighborhood, pay close attention. You'll be surprised at what you might learn just by watching and listening.
Till next time . . . happy birding!
Posted by Georgia Anne Butler at 1:11 PM