View Full Version : Crows?
12-01-2006, 03:14 PM
I was watching the huge number of crows that gather up in the neighborhood this time of year and marvel at their behavior. There are some black walnut trees around, and the crows were busy flying up to the top of the light poles and dropping the nuts down on the pavement to crack them open. I heard a strange bark in my back yard, and when I went to see if someone's dog had gotten into my yard I found a big crow sitting in the tree making barking sounds at one of my dogs. It was comical to say the least, as the big Husky couldn't quite make sense of that thing in the tree.
Anyway, crows seem really smart, (even smart aleck). Does anyone have any experience with having a crow as a pet, or having one take up residence? I've known folks who have tamed magpies, but I've never been around a pet crow.
12-01-2006, 03:29 PM
Never tried the pet route. They are hunted
quite a bit in nut orchards as farmers
hate them due to the damage done. I watched
a show set in a pecan orchard and they shot
at least a hundred, cleaned them, and popped
them on the barbie. Tasty they say.
12-01-2006, 03:39 PM
Corvids (crows, magpies, jays, ravens) are said to have the highest intelligence among birds. Large brain to body size ratio.
12-01-2006, 03:56 PM
"Corvids (crows, magpies, jays, ravens) are said to have the highest intelligence among birds. Large brain to body size ratio."
I once thought they were ravens, but my resident bird watcher friends corrected me. Apparently ravens don't flock together in the numbers that crows do. They also tell me that the crow population was hurt by the West Nile virus, but is recovering.
12-01-2006, 04:38 PM
Crows, Magpies, and all other native North American birds are protected under an treaty (Migratory Bird Treaty) which prevents them from being exploited as pets. Traditionally hunted birds fall under other protective guidelines that allow for their taking during hunting seasons. (Bruce, to my knowledge, they don't fall under game species allowances... Interesting the show you watched...)
That said, they are very intelligent and pose a problem for us wildlife folks when it comes to monitoring them. They are so smart that it is very difficult to trap them for study or tagging. It is near impossible to trap them the second time around.
I've worked with a number of birds and find it interesting how we've developed the wrong impression on some of them. For example, the "wise ol' owl" is one of the least "intelligent" while the stupid vulture is very intelligent.
[ December 01, 2006, 06:42 PM: Message edited by: wayacoyote ]
12-01-2006, 04:57 PM
"They are so smart that it is very difficult to trap them for study or tagging. It is near impossible to trap them the second time around."
They crack me up. I tossed some food stuff out in the yard, and watched them approach it. They're really careful, to the point that it seemed they posted lookouts and then nominated one bird to go check it out. It passed the smell test, and then they scrambled around and ate it up.
A friend was telling me about woodpeckers tearing up the stucco on his house. He got permission to shoot them, and at first was able to sneak around the corner of his house and pop them as they flew directly away from the house. He claims they then learned to stay right where they were when he came around the corner, as if they knew that he would not shoot at his own house. He said that when he moves right up on them now, they drop straight down and then fly along the stem wall rather than flying away from the house in a perpendicular fashion where he has a shot.
12-01-2006, 05:04 PM
There is still a crow season here Waya.
12-01-2006, 05:07 PM
Who'd a thunk it??
12-01-2006, 05:34 PM
Yes, I've had a pet crow or two. Very much fun and always into something. They will steal anything that isn't nailed down. Don't even think about working on a piece of machinery. You will NOT have bolts to put it back together. They also like to play falcon and land on your back or shoulder at 50 MPH. I have had them knock me off my feet when not expecting it. Some of my friends have even taught them to speak a simple word or two, like a parrot.
My grandmother has had I beleave three crows as pets since I've been around.(43years)And every one of them was very smart and fun to be around you should see them with chickens.
And also they do set lookouts and are hard to sneak up on which makes it that much more fun when you have to hunt them.
12-01-2006, 06:12 PM
around here they don't just drop the nuts on the asphalt until they break. they drop them on the road and then wait for a car to run over them. if you can spare the time see if "yours" do the same.
12-01-2006, 06:41 PM
"if you can spare the time see if "yours" do the same."
I have a grocery bag full of pecans. I haven't cracked them out because they're the small ones and aren't really very high quality. I'll try them out, but I'm not one with a lot of patience so I imagine that sometime tomorrow afternoon the neighbor's going to be saying "Maude, come take a look at this. The fool's out in the street running over pecans with his truck....".
12-02-2006, 03:03 AM
>Tasty they say.
Seagulls are known to drop clams, mussels, sea urchins, crabs and such on the rocks to break them open. Entertaining to watch.
Crows and ravens are about the only bird you don't find run over by cars. You see them all the time scavenging road kill but they never seem to get hit themselves.
There is an open season on crows here in Maine, or at least there used to be. Sad really, if you ask me. I was brought up as a general rule not to shoot anything you didn't intend to eat. Killing for the sake of killing never did much for me.
12-02-2006, 05:02 AM
mizz tecumseh has a bit of video of a group of crows taunting wolves. very funny and very obvious as to what the crows are doing... she says in the wild they are very much associated, one with the other.
12-02-2006, 06:16 AM
"I was brought up as a general rule not to shoot anything you didn't intend to eat."
Me too George. I was serious about the hunt
I watched on some obscure sports channel.
They cleaned them all and BQ'd the breasts.
They swore they were delicious.
I'll pass on them myself....... ;)
12-02-2006, 07:10 AM
"I was brought up as a general rule not to shoot anything you didn't intend to eat."
12-02-2006, 10:14 AM
As a parrot lover and keeper, I had a friend who used to rehab animals. Whenever she got a crow, we used to have sooo much fun. Everybody would want to always volunteer to sit with the crows. You have to be licensed to keep crows -technically that is. These birds can mimic better than any parrot and are so incredibly smart. Crows are very sacred animals not only here in the West, but also in the East. Chinese, Nepalis and the Indian culture worship the crows in many various ways. In Nepalis culture there is actually an association with the Goddess's Durga and Laxmi. Around the holdiay Doshain (in Nepalis culture), they do a serious week long pooja ceremony worshipping the crows.
There also used to be a tribal clan in the N.Eastern United States, long before it was ever called the United States of course. They say these people were shapeshifters and could go from being human to crow. They called them the Crow people, but they actually had another Native Indian name. It's been so long since I've seen anything written about this, but Native Americans know of this particular tribe. I can't believe that they allow people to shoot crows, there is no purpose for this. Especially the area mentioned is so near where the crow tribe lived. One things for sure, I would never harm a crow, it might not be very good luck. Who knows, one of those tribal people may come back to haunt you and make your life miserable...not very good.
[ December 02, 2006, 12:16 PM: Message edited by: Cyndi ]
12-02-2006, 01:36 PM
You gotta see this link of a crow taking a piece of straight wire then bending it to make a hook in order to get food.
smart crow (http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2002/08/0808_020808_crow.html)
And here's a Nat'l Geo. article about a study that says crows may be as smart as apes-
crows as clever as apes (http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2004/12/1209_041209_crows_apes.html)
12-02-2006, 01:46 PM
I've seen crows harrasing red tails on many occasions. One day about a mile and a half south of here, I saw a red tail sitting on a dead crow, surrounded by crows. The red tail had it's wings spread looking menacing and the crows looked stunned like they couldn't believe the turn of events.
12-02-2006, 03:57 PM
I have heard once that there is one test that almost all types of birds fail at except ravens and crows (who generally figure it out very quickly). I've thought of trying it some times but haven't yet.
Take a piece of meat (or other food) and tie it to a string that is 1.5-2 ft long. Hang this from a branch so that it is well away from anything. My understanding is that the ravens and crows will pull up the string, stand on it, then pull it up again (repeating until they can can reach the food).
12-02-2006, 08:12 PM
"You gotta see this link of a crow taking a piece of straight wire then bending it to make a hook in order to get food."
That's pretty impressive. I know some teenagers who couldn't do that.
I had a pair nest up near the top of a fir tree in my yard. One day I heard a guttoral, really desperate persistent caawing up there, like a major fight but with a closed beak. A bunch of twigs and debris started filtering down, and then a squirrel came tumbling down through the branches. Apparently it got a little too close to that nest.
12-02-2006, 08:59 PM
Here is a video of crows using cars to smash some nutshells open for them. The crows drop the nuts on the crosswalk so they can safely walk in the road to their meal without getting run over:
12-02-2006, 09:09 PM
Our pond has some cattails in it and every year we get a huge flock of black birds that have a red spot in their wings. It cool to watch them as they fly synchronized above the trees in the distance.
12-02-2006, 09:28 PM
"huge flock of black birds that have a red spot in their wings"
red-winged blackbirds? They are neat birds and have an interesting call too.
01-09-2007, 09:33 AM
I think crows are remarkably intelligent. National Geographic magazine had photos of crows playing in the snow: sliding down a snowy slope on their backs, getting up and doing it again. Here's another article:
But then again, they are related to Ravens, and in the Inuit(?) culture, Raven was a trickster. In the beginning, he created man, rivers ran bothe ways, and fat grew on trees. After a while Raven got bored, so, for his own amusement, he made rivers only run downhill, turned the fat to fungus, and created mosquitoes.
01-09-2007, 10:03 AM
YES CROWS ARE VERY INTELIGENT I always enjoyed watching them in the spring having breakfast in a robins nest or cardinal tar-tar in the next bush.