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Thread subject: "A Murder of Crows" PBS
Name Date Message
martyc35 10/28/10 01:11 pm The other night, I watched this documentary on Nature, PBS, and it was more than worth the time. Ongoing studies show crows to be extremely intelligent and social animals. New research is revealing that some not only use tools but fashion tools by making them from twigs and sticks. Some crows have been found to communicate certain prejudices to their nestlings, who remember them as adults, two or more years later. This was a real eye-opener, so if you get a chance, be sure to see it.
Kelly 10/28/10 04:45 pm I saw this doc when it originally aried on CBC TV back in January. Amazingly intelligent creatures ... I found a new appreciation for them :)
FOB Webmaster 10/28/10 07:28 pm I know some folks here probably already know about this excellent book, but I just read "Flyaway: How a Wild Bird Rehabber Sought Adventure and Found Her Wings".

The author talks about a special crow named George who helped her recover from rehabber burnout. He was a very friendly crow after she released him and he would fly with her when she jogged or hiked, but one day when she sat on the lawn, George didn't come down to sit by her -- instead he just stared at her from his branch, and she knew he was saying goodbye. She came back an hour later, and he was gone. She never saw him again.

Shelley 10/28/10 08:32 pm I also saw that show. Excellent.
cathleen 10/28/10 09:17 pm I loved the show. The guy who was the researcher actually learned those experiments from Bernd Heinrich, who wrote the Mind of the Raven. Though crows are smart and I love them, ravens are even more developed corvids.
Celeste 10/29/10 08:17 am I've seen documentaries here and there about their amazing abilities, but not the one you mentioned Marty. I've mentioned this before, but I always remember driving home years ago from Florida and stopping at a rest stop in North Carolina when I saw a woman at the rest stop with "her" crow traveling with her. She was a character; she claimed the crow recited bible verses:-)
Melanie 10/29/10 10:23 am Excellent show. But what I want to know is - how come the researcher could walk around with a mask on his whole head (and a very creepy one at that) and NO HUMAN seemed to react to it???
martyc35 10/29/10 12:13 pm I think, Mel, that they edited out the human responses:-). Or, since it was a university campus, the students just assumed anything goes!
Local bird update, now that migration is underway, still no golden crowned sparrows that I can see, but a lovely spotted towhee has graced the garden the past few days. Lots of rain, now, and the raccoons still keep cleaning me out. Oh, well.
Anne 10/29/10 12:29 pm Yes Crows are incredibly intelligent. There is quite a lot about them in 'Life of Birds'.
Pamela 10/29/10 06:06 pm A Murder of Crows is scheduled to be on again this evening at 8, thank goodness. It's scheduled to record and hopefully it's under control as I lost it Sunday night :-(
Lisa, one of our "regular" Ruby throated Hummingbirds appeared at the feeder outside the kitchen window last month and after drinking came quite close to the window and hovered for at least a minute looking inside. We looked at one another, spoke a bit and then she was off. It was as though she was saying, "See you again in April." I'll be prepared and anxiously waiting.
Watched the PBS documentary regarding crows finally. . . it was superb. Celeste, I remember you mentioning that crows speak among themselves. That is mentioned and actually shown.
cathy 11/03/10 11:34 am In my neighborhood, crows collect every evening to roost in a tree together. In the summer, I like to watch the "crowbatics" and the "crow olympics". It appears that some crows are spectators and others (I imagine they are the juveniles) take turns doing the most wild and crazy aerial stunts - spinning, stalling, landing in various ways, playing off each other, while the spectators caw approvingly at the end of selected crow's performances. It goes on and on until dark.
martyc35 11/03/10 01:05 pm I think the Crow Olympics must have been going on in my front yard the first year I moved here. Special show for the newbie? Anyway, my daughter and I couldn't get any rest from the screeching and cawing until darkness fell. Then we had to hope the neighbor behind me remembered to take her dogs in. The past two summers were much quieter, so I guess the Olympics moved to a new tree:-).

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Last modified: Sun March 7, 2010