Wednesday, 1 December 2010

As the Crow...uh... walks??

Halifax crow on the beach at Point Pleasant Park.

 For years I have been a fan of corvids, particularly ravens and crows but mostly crows. For a long time people tended to think I was a bit on the batty side, who the hell, after all, likes crows. Crows are the harbingers of all things bad and big time pests to boot but lately that's been changing or at least the perception has.

I recently saw a tv show about crows, The Nature of Things'  "A Murder of Crows" and it made me realise I am not alone in my love and admiration for these birds. They are smart, intuitive and manage to get along with humans very well-thank-you-very-much.

On a recent holiday in Berlin I was lucky enough to watch the Berlin city crow in action. Bold and unafraid of people these crows are quite at home in the big city doing what they do.

Hooded crow in Berlin looking for food amidst cellophane.

Hooded crows made their way over from Russia and found Germany's capitol city to their liking and what's not to like, there's stuff to eat everywhere as long as one can unpack it and crows don't mind a little packaging. After all a challenge is a good thing when you have a brain and you know how to use it.

Halifax crow unwrapping a bagel.
 The challenge of getting the bagel out of the packing wasn't that hard for this crow. He unwrapped it more or less the same way you or I would have done. People in general are slobs so it's easy pickings for these birds. After all if crows can work out how to use a  vending machine they can unwrap a tossed behind bagel which incidentally they fished out of the garbage bin. Food is food right? And fresh food, still wrapped is a bonus!

These birds are wonderful. They have a complex society and they can recognize faces and they remember them.  We should be far more aware of them in our environment than we tend to be. I think we can learn a lot. I personally love these birds. They never cease to amaze me.

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tales from the dark side...