I usually see the crows in groups of three.   Usually spaced about 25-50 meters apart and talking to each other.  If I drive, I see them on the top gutters of my school, about 20 feet up.  Talking.  I greet them.  Good morning!  Sometimes I imitate them.

If I walk to school, I often see them on the metal rail fence as I walk, in the lower trees and on the tall light poles in the school parking lot.  Hello.  I talk.  They talk.   Never real close.

Crows often scavenge the parking lot at my school.  Picking over things.  Flying away with fast-food containers in their mouth.

Over time, I have seen them feuding with mockingbirdsMockingbirds feud with cats too.  The crows don’t seem to get real worked up in many conflicts, they just exit.  Disappearing act.  Teleporters, they are.  Sometimes they take a stand.  As they do with mockingbirds.

I began noticing crows outside the window of my teaching classroom at school.  I heard them “cawing” outside of my lab.  They could not see me, nor I them, but I could hear them through the grate of the ventilation in the lab.  I think they could hear me too.  I talked back.  It is possible that they recognize my voice.  Personally.  My voice.

So, I began to think:  “How could I develop a more personal relationship?”  Most of us respond well to those who feed us.  True.  I looked up “favorite foods of crows,” on the search engine and I honestly thought it would be corn.  Peanuts.  In the shell.  OK.

I purchased a large bag of peanuts in the shell and began placing them on the upper story windowsill outside of my teaching classroom.  The crows are rather elusive and are very sensitive to having anything pointed at them.  Even ones eyes are enough to make them flee.

I think this video was the first time I captured a crow gaining one of my peanuts.

My students say they would watch a crow video (and share it) if I could get it to come in the classroom from outdoors.  That is not my goal.  I just simply want them to identify me as a food source for now.  A trusted friend.  Who takes pictures.  And videos.  And posts their likenesses on the internet without permission.

The other day, I walked out of my house and I saw three crows nearby, one “calling” at a time.  Not a cacophony.  One at a time.  I talked back.  I think they know where I live now and I think they may have followed me home one day.

Crows are that smart.

Crows, smarter than you think | John Marzluff | TEDxRainier:


 

Crow video playlists by me, Darrell Barnes:

Crows

Crows and peanuts