Wednesday, March 31, 2010
I've seen them very often for the past several years after I bought my camera, but I never have the camera with me while the crows are near. I also hear at least one crow almost every day, especially while I'm in the woods. Of course, being beneath the canopy of all the trees I'm never able to see them.
This time it was different though. I found two crows just standing there on the grass waiting for me. I got so excited that I didn't zoom in very close to the one in front. And by the time I remembered, it flew away and out of camera range. It must have been too smart for me.
Crows have also been observed at street intersection dropping nuts down onto the street for cars to run over and break. When the lights change so there is no traffic, the crows will then fly down and retrieve their opened nuts. I'd say that's pretty smart. The intelligence of these birds has even been told about in fables and fairy tales.
This can be used in a useful way though. American crows are used to help identify West Nile virus. Crows can catch this very easily. And if crows die in an area, it is checked for the virus. That can help stop an outbreak among humans. Crows are not known to be able to pass it on to humans, even though humans can catch it in other ways.
A little bit of good information, huh? If you want more, a good web search can bring you a wealth of information about these very interesting birds. I also wrote another story about them that you might find very interesting. It was when I got a few very bad pictures of one a couple of them in the air. You can find that here: The Twa Corbies
I'll be back tomorrow for a short but special look at the night sky.