Gifts From Crows

Four years ago in Seattle, eight year old Gabi Mann consistently fed and interacted with the crows in her backyard. She formed such a tight bond that she could recognize individual crows by sight and gave them names. The crows rewarded her by bringing gifts.

Many animals give gifts to members of their own species but crows and other corvids are the only ones known to give gifts to humans. As John Marzluff explains in the video, crows will do this for people who feed them a lot and pay attention to them, or even rescue them.

When I read about this several years ago in Marzluff’s book Gifts of the Crow, I briefly thought about trying to make friends with crows but decided it would be a difficult relationship. If your friendship with crows is based on food they remember your generosity and bring their friends. Lots of friends. They can be quite demanding and don’t understand if you stop. Not everyone appreciates this.

Gabi’s story made international news in February 2015 but we don’t hear about it anymore. Six months after this video was filmed two of Gabi’s neighbors sued, demanding $200,000 and a court order prohibiting the Mann family from putting out more than a 1/4 pound of bird food. It took a year to settle the lawsuit; the details were not made public.

Crows remember the faces of those who are mean to them and those who are especially kind. I’m sure that a few special crows remember Gabi.

(video from BBC on YouTube)

4 thoughts on “Gifts From Crows

  1. I had a crow as a kid that stayed around until fall when a group of crows came over and lured him away.It was a great experience that made me love birds through out my years. I especially like to follow Canuck and I on Facebook. He is the Ambassador of Vancouver, beating out various celebrities for the position. His antics are endearing and his mate and a young crow have also bonded to Canuck’s human. I would urge all to follow Canuck’s antics on his facebook page Canuck and I to get a glimce of a crow’s life and behaviors.

  2. Crows certainly are amazing. Every day they fly over my house around 4 pm on their way to their roosting spot. It’s like clockwork.
    Yesterday at 4:20 pm in Swissvale I heard such a racket that I ran out out of house on to my front porch to see hundreds of crows in a tight group flying in circles around a large oak tree. Their sound was deafening. After a few minutes I noticed that there was a red tailed hawk in the middle of all the commotion. They were all over him, it was amazing as the chased him from tree to tree . The hawk was surrounded on all sides. They were inches from his back. And relentless as more and more joined in. Hopefully he was able to survive…Poor hawk ! If he got away I’m sure he will never go after a crow again!!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *