Posted by: bkivey | 8 April 2010

Smart Crows

On a recent TV show I saw a segment on crows, and how one person was training them to pick up loose change around the city and bring it back to him. This reminded me of an incident during which I learned that not only are crows smart; they have a sense of humor.

Some years ago me and a few friends spent the weekend camped next to a lake in the mountains. Sunday was absolutely gorgeous and after we had broken camp and cleaned the area we found ourselves with time and no real desire to leave just yet. The lake shore was covered with pebbles so we spent some time skipping rocks and chucking stones to test our aim. After a while we noticed that there was a murder of crows in the copse beside us.

Now, this copse consisted of two clumps of trees with a sort of clearing about six feet wide and forty or so feet long through the middle. The crows were more or less evenly distributed among the trees. Being guys, it seemed a good idea at the time to start chucking rocks at the crows. Stone the crows, you might say. At first the crows would fly around but before long they just sat in the trees and squawked at us. After about thirty or forty minutes of throwing rocks and not hitting a single crow, our pitching arms were worn out. We couldn’t pick up another rock.

Just at this time, two crows flew from behind us, right over our heads, down the length of the clearing in perfect two-ship formation. And they flew low and slow. Insolent, like. We just looked at each other.

You cannot tell me that those crows didn’t know what the score was, and that they weren’t laughing at us.

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