I forgot to check when I reached the five hundred-post milestone. That was actually several weeks ago. Whoops.
Recently, one of my grad school classmates reposted a comment on Facebook about some crows at a wildlife facility that said, “Caw,” to imitate the humans who said that to them. Someone who worked at the facility explained that the crows mocked the humans who assumed that crows only said, “Caawwww.” I was so fascinated by that remark, that I decided to search out videos about crows, especially after hearing a crow calling out as it flew by my home.
I wound up watching a twenty-two-minute TED Talk on crows and ravens by John Marzluff, a professor at the University of Washington.
I totally get that you don’t have twenty minutes to watch a video. But the first few minutes at least are worth watching, because the way a crow problem solves in a clip Marzluff shows is fascinating.
Around the fourteen-minute mark, Marzluff plays an audio clip of a raven saying his name—Edgar (ha, how fitting). But here’s a different video of a raven saying hello.
With all of this talk of corvids, of course I think of City Jackdaw, Andy’s blog, since jackdaws are in the crow family.
It’s interesting that crows and ravens are usually portrayed as sinister in literature. Think of “The Raven” by Edgar Allan Poe and the many, many fantasy novels that mention them or feature them on their covers. This post lists several. Like this novel.
Even Raven, a member of the Teen Titans superhero group, is the one with dark powers. And there’s the Crow, a dude brought back to life by an unusual crow to seek revenge.
The fact that crows eat carrion probably edged them toward the dark side in the minds of many authors. But I think they get a bad rap. I watched a video of a crow saying hello to a squirrel, which seemed kinda sweet. You can watch it here.
Maybe it’s time for crows to get a break in literature. I’d love to hear of some stories where crows or ravens did something cool. Oh wait. I know one. It’s this one.
What do you think of crows? Please comment below, especially if you know a good story about crows or ravens.
Another place for cool facts about corvids: https://www.sciencealert.com/crows-ravens-corvids-best-birds-animal-intelligence
Crow photo from pubicdomainpictures.net. Raven from Teen Titans image from wallpapercave.com. Six of Crows book cover from Goodreads.