31 October 2014
On Halloween, here’s a scary thought. If you’re an enemy to crows, they remember your face and harass you.
John Marzluff from the University of Washington shows how they remember their enemies in this clip from A Murder of Crows.
He investigated the phenomenon because he, like other crow researchers, was routinely harassed by crows after he captured and banded their young. Were they remembering his clothing? No, they remembered his face.
Perhaps you or a friend have experienced this too. For instance…
Mike Olaugh of Minneapolis left a comment on my blog about blue jays and added this note about crows. “The Crows … are ubiquitous no matter the conditions. We are near a cemetery and they have lived there for a century. I learned when I first moved here 20 years ago to leave them alone. They ganged up on my car and dropped on it en masse for a whole season. (I was trying to get them to stop roosting across the alley.)”
The crows recognized Mike and did something to drive him nuts until he left them alone.
Moral of the story: If you harass crows, you may have to wear a mask.
Happy Halloween. 😉
(YouTube video excerpt from PBS NATURE posted by Simon and Schuster as a promo for Marzluff and Angell’s 2012 book Gifts of the Crow)