Crows are awesome, did you know? Keep reading to find out why they are one of the most underrated birds.
- Crows are super smart. In fact, they have been known to use traffic to help crack nuts. Crows have been observed dropping nuts in busy intersections, then waiting for cars to drive over them and crack them open. That's not all though, these crows were seen actually waiting for the light to turn red to drop their nut. They fly away when the light turns green, then fly back to get their freshly-cracked nut at the next red light.
- Crows mate for life. 'Nuff said.
- Crows can remember faces (aka hold a grudge). A group of scientists conducted a study in which they wore masks while capturing and banding groups of crows. The crows learned to recognize the mask as a danger and would scold the person in the mask upon encountering them. Crows that hadn't encountered the mask started scolding as well. Over a five year period, the scolding doubled in frequency and spread almost a mile from the place of origin. Read more about this study on social learning in American Crows, opens a new window.
- Crows have regional dialects. Different populations can have differences in their languages, just like people!
- Crows hold funerals for the deceased. Ok, so this isn't entirely accurate, but crows have been seen gathered around their dead in the hundreds. Studies have shown this is because they are learning about any potential dangers nearby. Read more about "crow funerals.", opens a new window
- Crows have huge brains! They have the largest brain to body ratio of any bird. Their brain to body ration is even bigger than humans.
- Crows can make tools. They are one of only four species that can craft tools: humans, orangutans, chimpanzees and New Caledonian crows. They will find a good stick, sharpen forked twigs into hooks and and use it to scoop larvae and worms from holes in wood.
- Crows hide their food. Yeah, squirrels do that too, but crows don't just stash their food away for later. If a crow thinks it is being watched, they sometimes pretend to hide food in their cache, but secretly keep it tucked in their feathers and bury it in another cache far away. Tricky right? Until you find out the crow that was watching the sneaky crow was being sneaky themselves and followed them to the real cache. Because crows know they are little tricksters.
One more fun fact: A murder of crows is the poetic name for a group of crows, not the scientific name. Most scientists don't use that term; they would refer to them as a flock.
If you enjoyed reading this and want to learn more about this fascinating animal, read Crows, "a tribute to these special feathered friends."