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More Surprising Behavior of Crows

The Surprising Behavior Of Crows
October 2011 in Tacoma

Do crows really talk, give gifts, and use surfboards? John Marzluff, a bird expert from the University of Washington, discusses the amazing behavior of these so-called "feathered apes."

John Marzluff's first Science Café on "The Surprising Behavior of Crows"
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I regularly feed my crows, anything from mice caught in the mouse trap from the barn to leftovers. Its a mutual relationship. While they check in several times a day for tidbits, they will mob any hawks in the area. Attacks on my free range chickens have diminished because of them.
While I haven't received any gifts from them, I do receive gifts from one particular seagull. I surf rake Hammonassett Beach (CT). At morning light the gulls come in to the beach. They have their territories. She/he is always at West Beach. I have treats (pcs. of hot dogs, cheese crackers, etc) that I dole out to the one footed gulls, and postive reinforcement for desired behaviors. (One gull will perch on fence posts in his area for treats). I have one (and only one)that exchange 'gifts' for treats. I call her "The Barterer". She will fly in front of the tractor, land and scan the area. Grab a stick, a shell, or a lovely piece of seaweed and trot up the tractor steps and drop it and wait expectingly for her treat. She'll repeat this until I'm out of her territory.

The most territorial creature I have ever watched. They will daily chase off eagles who are in flight to scoop up food. Especailly when the native geese have their babies. They are relentless. They keep in numbers and have no fear it seems when protecting their territories here. What a brilliant bird. Scavangers... Even when they are not in numbers, one or two, my dogs simply see them as a natural part of the environment and never bother them. I have dogs who see birds as hunted game.

Really awesome bird. Want to say bird of prey. They can be more aggresive than the eagles at the land fill. Eagles live in huge numbers at the landfill in Maple Valley. Huge numbers. They raise their young there too. I always look for crows to tell me it's safe to run my dogs along the wood line. No crows, we leave and find somewhere else to run the dogs. They seem to only fly in circles or keep the telephone poles when there is safety in their surroundings. We have seen coyotes in the area but only when the crows are gone. Even then we hike in the mountains, I will often use the gathering of crows to hike in areas with bear and mountain lions without fear.

When I originally left a comment I seem to have clicked the -Notify me when new comments are
added- checkbox and now every time a comment is added I recieve 4 emails with the exact same comment.
Is there an easy method you can remove me from that service?