This American Crow is announcing to the world that he is patient 400!!
This little guy came in after he spooked a horse. Yep… all 7 ounces of him spooked a horse! The finder watched and waited for two days until it was clear his parents were not coming back. When he arrived he was dehydrated and had parasites. Two problems we quickly solved… along with a big meal. As a member of the Corvid Family this guy is wicked smart. He can easily imprint on humans so wearing a mask, hood or other disguise is necessary when we treat him.
Crow’s not only use tools, they make them! Speaking of mind blowing… On average a crows brain weighs .26 ounces. It might seem tiny but it’s actually HUGE compared to their body. Proportionally, crows have larger brains than humans. They do all sorts of things with their big brains that go beyond tool making. Forget Planet of the Apes… we should be concerned about Planet of the Corvids!
Crows have shown they have an understanding of water displacement. The University of Cambridge and The University of Auckland teamed up for this incredible study. In multiple trials they presented a tube with water and a food item in it. The crow then had to pick the right object to displace enough water to get the treat to rise to a point where they could retrieve it. In one trial they presented identical objects except some where hollow (allowing less displacement) and some where solid (allowing maximum water displacement). The crow chose correctly! You can see for yourself just how clever the crows are as they solve these problems.
They are a little creepy if you’ve ever crashed a crow funeral… but these gatherings serve a vital purpose. Crows are not just mourning, they are warning. By sticking close to the dead they are able to learn some thing about the demise of of their own. This can help them avoid the same fate… whether that’s a BB gun in a backyard, a poor food choice, or an infection of some kind. Humans have a huge variety of ways to mourn their dead. In the rest of the animal kingdom these rituals are few and far between making crows a unique bunch… in any case, they are already dressed for a funeral. Learn more about Corvid Thanatology by listening to this podcast (good stuff starts around 10:00) but be forewarned there’s some salty language.