You think you are smart? Think again! If you are not feeling stupid already after reading crow facts in our previous article here, we are damn sure you will feel now. So, without wasting time any further, let us take a look at 10 super interesting crow facts and start feeling stupid! Ready?
Crow Facts: 1-5
1. Crows have this extraordinary ability to learn adaptive behavior. They know that they can find some tasty snack from garbage trucks. So, they memorize the routes that the garbagemen usually take. Not only that, they usually know which garbagemen are cooperative to them.
2. If adaptive learning is not surprising for you, know that if someday you managed to kill a crow or even harass one from your home, the possibilities are high that there are hundreds of thousands of crows out there that know your address. In Ontario’s Chatham, which is known to be a farming town, something incredible happened. Hundreds of thousands of crows took that route for migration and stopped in that town for some rest. Well, crows aren’t very crop-friendly and that’s something very serious for farmers. So, what happened next?
3. The farmers in that town decided to declare war against crows. There were too many of these black birds and the farmers thought they could kill quite a few. They used guns and bang! They fired! How many crows died? Just one. The rest flew off and what followed was intense cawing. It was not chaos. It was information dissemination.
4. The next thing that happened, the crows did return every year but they flew way higher so that the hunters of Chatham cannot take a shot at them. They remembered it year after year after year. And… just one crow had to give its life to make the crows realize the danger and remember it forever. You think that’s an isolated event? Think again! Crows are known to change their migration path completely if one of their kind meets an unfortunate end.
5. And…crows are super analytical. They can solve problems. In an experiment, a few smart scientists decided to tie a piece of meat to a string and then tie that string to a fixed stick. Now, they allowed the crows to try and get the meat. Guess what? Every single crow succeeded. How? Read on…
Crow Facts: 6-10
6. So, the problem was – get the meat! How did the crows react? They came. They sat on the stick. They used one foot to grab the thread and pull it up a bit. Used the other foot to keep the dragged up thread held in position and then used the free feet to pull up the thread even more. They continued this action until the meat was within their reach. That’s smart!
7. Did you read Aesop’s story called ‘The Crow and the Pitcher’? Smartass scientists wanted to know whether the story had any scientific truth or not. So, they placed some crows in a room. They placed some tubes and filled them with some water. They then dropped worms in those tubes so that the worms keep floating on water surface but just out of reach of the crows. Now the scientists also placed some pebbles in that room – big and small pebbles and waited to see.
8. Can you guess what the crows did? Yes! They dropped the pebbles in those tubes so that the water level rises and the worms get closer and closer to their reach. It is not that they just dropped pebbles. They actually figured out that dropping larger pebbles will displace more water and hence they will get the worms quicker.
9. Hold on! There’s more! They can not only use tools, these freaking crows know how to fashion tools and then use them. In another experiment conducted with New Caledonian Crow, it horrific revelation took place. The scientists kept some food in a small basket and then placed the basket in a tube. They brought two wires which was already made into a hook and another one was straight. Now two crows were introduced. One was Betty and another named Abel. Abel took the hook and took off. Betty on the other hand took the straight wire, bent it into a hook and then used it to get the food out of the tube. You think Betty was taught previously? No! Betty encountered a wire for the first time in her life.
10. Let’s get back to the first point – adaptive behavior. Did you know that if the crows cannot crack open a nut, they will drop it and let gravity do the work? However, if dropping isn’t working, they will use humans. They will take the nut and drop it in front of cars so that the nuts crack open. More interestingly, they know how traffic lights work and they know exactly when to drop the nuts and when to get them back in order to prevent from being run over by cars.