Remember that 8-year-old girl who receives small objects from crows in return for feeding them? Well, her parents are now facing a $200,000 lawsuit accusing them of running a large-scale feeding operation out of their backyard.
There's no better way to celebrate Halloween than by snuggling up with this mesmerizing PBS documentary, A Murder of Crows, first aired in 2010 and now available free online. We actually get to see some of the experiments that offered solid evidence that crows are breathtakingly smart tool users.
OK, so we don't know exactly what they're saying, though I suspect that at least some of the time they are yelling, "Give me a peanut, human!" But this fantastic video from ornithologist Kevin McGowan helps you recognize the difference between crow and raven calls, as well as what they could mean.
Government agencies have looked into using animals as secret agents, and have even wired up a cat to try their luck. But I think coolest-looking spy animal ever must have been a raven.
In a crushing blow to the egos of clever corvids everywhere, a group of Caledonian crows has been outwitted in a causality test by a bunch of human babies. "It's a rare failure," writes Khadim Shubber over at Wired, "but it appears they are unable to interpret cause and effect to create new solutions without direct…
You don't have to travel far to shoot decent wildlife photos. Other than spending some time practicing at the zoo or with your pets, why not take your camera to a nearby park or hiking trail? Birds and squirrels and lizards and the like may not be as charismatic as zebras or pandas, but they make for interesting…
Crows are far more rational than we had realized. New research shows that wild New Caledonian crows can compete with 7-year-old children when it comes to understanding causality, or how one action causes another.
By now you probably know about Walter Mischel's famous 1972 marshmallow task, which used the tasty snacks to measure impulse control in children. What you might not know is why marshmallows can help us better understand what it means to be human. A new study, in which crows and ravens were subjected to a version of…
Crows are among the planet's most intelligent animals, teaching their young to use tools for foraging and banding together to fight off intruders. Now, the first study of how abstract reasoning works in these birds' brains could shed light on how intelligence works in a truly alien, non-mammal brain.
A lot of crows come to my backyard looking for peanuts, but this group of five was different. They were scrappy, with tattered white bits of down sticking out from between their black feathers. One of them made a cry more like a bleat than your typical caw caw! And then I discovered them doing something extraordinary.
They didn't have elegant names, nor a brand-name college ahead of them. But after the Crash, even a humble raven might count herself luckier than a human. Now, something was changing the corvids. They were picking out human words on scraps of wilting paper in the hallways.
Someday I will come up with a good reason why I am friends with the neighborhood crows. For now, I can say that it started when I looked up from my office window to see this big flock of crows hanging out on the roof of an apartment building nearby. I had heard that these creatures, part of a larger family of birds…
Crows will not only remember your face and go after you repeatedly if you bother them, but they will also teach other birds to do the same. Their scolding and physical harassment can last for years, possibly for the life of the bird.