The Crow and I

Until now, I never paid any attention to the common crow. I would hear it cawing in the woods and fields, but outside of the occasional squawk, they did not enter into my consciousness. Now though, I have made a friend.

Photo by Walter Siegmund

For weeks now, one particular crow has been coming to our deck and waiting on the railing for me to come out and feed him/her (how do you tell anyway?) I know it is always the same crow because it has a ruffled feather. This particular crow has 3 others which follow it and try to get food from it. Feeding the crow gives me the opportunity to observe it closely, as it allows me within a few feet.

What amazes me about the crow is its level of intelligence. I have watched it examine food situations and figure out the best way to fly with his catch. I was totally astounded though when I gave this crow a frozen quarter pound hamburger patty and watched it fly away with it as if it were nothing. Once, I gave this crow the fat trimmed from a New York strip steak, in the form of one long ribbon of fat. The crow looked at it for a second, then methodically folded it into thirds and flew away with it. It seems to know me, and comes when I call it if its in the area. When its hungry, it lands on my deck railing and calls me. This bird has a brain and knows how to use it.

The crow has definite food likes and dislikes. It prefers meat, but will also eat cheese. Its favorite food seems to be dog kibble, probably because it is the perfect size to pick up and carry off to feed the hungry offspring.

Crows are among the smartest known animals in the world, close behind the chimpanzee. They are capable of problem solving, and making and using tools. Some have even learned to talk, much like parrots.

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