I’m Kaeli Swift, Ph.D. Since I was a kid I’ve loved wildlife—especially birds—and asking questions about animal behavior and cognition. While an undergrad at Willamette University (2005-2009), I discovered that crows and other corvids offered the perfect marriage of these interests, and I have been hooked on them ever since. In 2012, I was awarded a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship to pursue this passion as a graduation student at the University of Washington. As a Masters and Doctoral student (2012-2018), I dedicated myself to understanding what American crows do in response to dead crows, as well as what adaptive motivations might drive their response. My graduate research included both field-based projects observing wild crows, and non-invasive/non-lethal functional imaging studies aimed at understanding what was going on in the crow brain during these experiences. After graduating, I spent a year as a Post-Doctoral researcher at the University of Washington studying the foraging behaviors of Canada jays in Denali National Park. Visit the Previous Research and Publications pages to learn more about these projects. Currently, I am a visiting lecturer at the University of Washington where I teach a variety of ornithology and wildlife ecology courses.
No matter what my current or future job titles are though, science communication will forever remain a core part of my identity as a scientist and person. As a child, I struggled immensely with school. While I loved science, I did not see myself as someone who could become a scientist. Even outside of those with learning disabilities, women remain vastly underrepresented at the most high profile and visible levels of science communication. I aim to be a part of the growing number of women seeking to change this, and welcome any opportunity to bring science to the public. I regularly give public talks to audiences ranging from elementary students to careered academics. Video, audio, and print reports of my research have been featured by National Geographic, PBS, the New York Times, The Atlantic, Ologies podcast, Science Friday and many others. For collaboration or to schedule a speaking event, please contact me at email@example.com.
647 responses to “About Me”
Dr Swift, Are there historical records of crows or raven going before waring armies like the Romans into battle?
Interesting question Michael. While there is certainly mythology about this (perhaps none more explicitly than in Celtic mythology and the stories of Badb) I don’t know of any historic records that actually bear this behavior out.
In Old Norse poetry, ravens were called “war gulls” or the like and warriors were referred to as “feeders of ravens” (I think of the latter whenever I toss some peanuts to my local friendly corvids). So there was, accurately or not, a belief that corvids scavenged on the battlefield.
Oh I like that name actually. It’s pretty metal. And they most certainly did help themselves to the battlefields!
I have a young crow with (issues). Left on his own, I believe that he/she would parish. There is an in-balance problem, which is why the parents couldn’t feed it properly. His strength has improved since yesterday, his eyes are more clear, and his alertness has gotten better since yesterday.
I have always loved the crow and raven since I was young, so I understand them better than most, but I would really love to have a conversation with you about the bird that I am caring for to ensure that I giving him everything he needs, and better knowledge to help him/her. I’d love to keep the crow as a pet, (But), I’d also love to see him get treated and returned back to the open life from which he came.
Hi Rod, I appreciate the love you have for this poor bird! Unfortunately I do not give rehab or husbandry advice. My expertise is in the behavior of wild crows and I honestly have no experience in providing care for injured birds. Your best bet is probably to drive the bird over to the closest rehab center (as you’re in Central Washington that might be Seattle, TBH). In the mean time I have some out of state contacts that specialize in crows that you can reach out to. Nell Haberman is based in Portland and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Stephen Ballen runs a corvid centered rehab institution in the UK. You can reach him here: email@example.com. They are generally very quick to respond. Sorry I can’t be more helpful, but I wish you and your ward the best of luck!
I have spotted and photographed an American Crow with white primaries, I’d like you to look at my photo if you are interested.
Hi Nedret, you can email it to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can find my article on that topic here: https://corvidresearch.blog/2014/07/09/crow-curiosities-what-causes-white-feathers/
I hope you’re well. Almost 1500 years back the book of Quran (holy book of Muslims) describes that crows actually showed man how to do a funeral and bury the dead. The actual verse is:
‘Then Allah sent a crow digging the ground, to show him how to cover his brother’s corpse. He said, “Woe to me! I was unable to be like this crow, and bury my brother’s corpse.” So he became full of regrets.’ 5:31
My question is, are there any similarities between human and crow funerals/burials? Also have you witnessed crow digging grounds/land?
Hi Shef! I know that passed well, we actually quoted it in one of our papers 🙂
I wouldn’t share there are a ton of similarities between current crow and human rituals, other than that general social interest in the dead. I have never witnessed crows digging a grave and have not heard of others witnessing this either. I have however had people tell me they’ve seen crows placing various objects (mostly sticks) on dead crows though.
Hi Dr. Swift,
There is a family of three American crows in my neighborhood and I observed one of them making some sort of rattling sound. It elongates its neck and turns its beak down, almost like it is about to throw up, and makes a guttural-like rattle. I feed them unsalted peanuts and kibble so not sure if that has anything to do with it. I also have a video but there’s no upload function 🙂
Hi Sam, that’s a female specific rattle call. We does exactly know what it means, be we know only the gals do it.
Oh, I didn’t know just females did that. I thought both. I’ve had “conversations” with crows doing that “rattle”, a sort of vibrato call and I would respond, and she/he would do it again.
I can’t tell you how incredibly happy I am to have found your site. Over the last few months I have become fascinated by crows and hope to read up on them as much as possible. I am currently living in Paris, France and have been feeding our feathered friends from my 6th floor balcony for several moths now. When I noticed one day a black mass hobbling outside my window I quickly went to see what it was. I was shocked to find an ENORMOUS crow… who, of course flew away at the mere sensation of me. I started by placing an egg in my flowerpot. They took awhile to come but eventually took the egg to eat somewhere else. Fast forward to today where one crow literally looked me in the eye and then ate the egg, although quite cautiously in front of me.
I suppose I am posting here mainly because I am excited to see that there are others who find these « menaces » so incredible, but also to ask… is there anything else I can offer them? I have seen your response about appropriate foods and …feel kind of silly asking, but could I try to make a perch or some sort of birdhouse for them?
Thank you so much for taking the time to read.
Hi Lexie! Glad you are here too. So birdhouses are only used by birds that nest in cavities like chickadees, swallows, bluebirds, etc. Since crows make “open-cup” nests just in trees, they have no use for a bird house. That said, I’m sure they would appreciate a feeding platform if you are so inclined to make one. Just a flat, open platform will do. Good luck!
Hello Dr. Swift! I’m currently listening to you episode of the Ologies podcast. As soon as I heard that you got your masters degree in animal behavior and ethology, I got extremely excited. I’m currently researching graduate schools, looking to get my Masters in the same thing. I couldn’t find this degree program on the University of Washington’s website, so I was hoping I could get some information from you on what path you took to get this degree, and any advice you might have. Please feel free to reach out to me through email, and I can give you some more details about my situation. Thank you!
Hi Hannah, I’d be happy to connect over email. Mine is email@example.com
Our neighborhood is in university place and we have a huge roosting area right next door on Leach Creek. They are fascinating to watch ever evening. . I’d like to put something about it in the next newsletter. Do you have any information specific to that site?
Hi Denise, can you be more specific about the city you live in?
I have all-ways been intrigued and captivated by the Corvids..i am not a young person anymore and now I find myself continuing my young journey..crows used to follow me home from school..always attentive..and at each juncture of my life they have persisted..to entertain and enlighten me by their ceaseless curiosity..as I think we all should be!..I would love to understand more….sincerely R. Snow
Hi! I just wanted to say that looking through your research has not only been fascinating but also inspiring! Even though what I want to do isn’t even slightly related to what you do, I’ve never felt so motivated before so I wanted to thank you for that! And I hope you have a wonderful day when you see this and I look forward so following you in the future!
Thanks so much Robbie!
Crows are one of the few animals (I’m told) that can recognize faces and usually never forget a face. One day not long ago I called my local animal control to pick up an injured possum. I told the animal control officer that the crows were making a big stink (a lot of noise). He said that crows will become quite noisy and animated when there is an injured animal nearby. I thought that was pretty cool that our feathered friends try to tell the world when another animal is injured. I’ve been fascinated with crow for sometime now. Cheers!
Hey, “Cousin” Kaeli. As a glider pilot, I’ve always been fascinated by watching birds in flight – including the ravens in my part of Western Nevada! Several times, I have been surprised by hearing what I thought was a raven flying over, calling gently, and then being surprised when I looked up to see it was a dove! I’m wondering if this is a “mimic” technique that doves may use to spoof potential predators. Congrats on completing the Ph.D. and best wishes on your continuing research! -Gary B Swift-
Hi Gary! That’s an interesting anecdote! I don’t know of doves to mimic predators, but I’ll look into it!
Pingback: 大学入試予想問題と和訳・解答例(1) | Mountain English
Hi Kaeli, It’s been a while. Craig Gibson’s brother Dave here. This a.m., in Chesapeake, VA, I observed an American Crow(?) feasting on an Eastern Meadowlark. Here’s my Facebook post: ” This appears to be an American Crow (most likely) feasting on an Eastern Meadowlark (most definitely). I believe the meadowlark was a live bird, not a dead one. If so, this would be an unusual occurrence, an outlier. You photographers out there…I exposed for the meadowlark, not the crow. Would love your thoughts. After I took the photo, I headed home.” Kaeli, would love YOUR thoughts.
Apparently, crows have chased away my beloved song birds (finches, chickadees, cardinals, titmice, etc) what can I do?
Without validating your assertion that the crows are responsible (because that’s rarely true) the best things you can do to encourage more avian diversity in your yard is to plant more native shrubs that offer cover and foraging opportunities, keep cats indoors, provide water, and make your windows more visible.
Crows are songbirds — they are classified and protected as such. They are very intelligent and sociablel You might find it rewarding to get to know them.
I like to say, “Crows are the Tom Waits of songbirds!” 😂
Hello Dr. Swift, I remember reading in fascination your writing on crow necrophilia. How strange indeed and seemingly apart from and beneath the dignity of crow funerals, of which I have been privileged to observe. A few weeks back I was out for a stroll in our West Seattle neighborhood and was walking toward what seemed at a distance, a dead crow laying in a driveway. Before I could get closer to see, if indeed this was a dead crow, down swooped this large crow and he began the unmistakable copulation postures. Oh no! I thought this is really weird behavior! Then another crow flew down and started copulating postures with the first crow who flew down! Double weird indeed, but this gets weirder still as I was nearing toward them, they both flew up into a nearby tree, and I saw the “dead crow” wasn’t a crow at all, but some discarded shiny black gym shorts! LOL!
On the island of Alameda in the San Francisco Bay, we have huge populations of crows. They roost communally, moving to different parts of the island every couple months.
They wake neighbors up around sunrise each day with call and response-type yelling. It’s almost like a teacher telling a story to a group of children with rhymes. One or two birds will talk for a couple seconds followed by the whole hole group yelling for a few seconds, then back to one or two and the group. This goes on for 15?20? Minutes.
But what’s really weird was last week when the whole tree erupted noisily at *midnight*! Yelling went on for another 20 mins in the darkness (well, it’s never “dark” here, it’s the near-in suburbs).
Is any of this unusual for your experience?
Thanks for your work!!
My guess is some kind of predator infiltrated the roost. In that case, nothing usually about anything you described!
My mom recently passed away. On the day before her passing my sisters and I were walking through the local park which connects with the hospital my mom was staying in. We were reminiscing and talking when I looked up and realized that we were standing among about 80-100 dragon flies. They were dancing and playing around us and it was the most magical thing I’d ever witnessed! And although I felt a deep sorrowful dread come over me it was with these dragon flies that I also felt comfort come over me. I knew that my mother was going to pass away very soon but I felt like they were there to let us know that she wasn’t alone. That being said it was VERY shortly after that that a crow swooped down and landed on the sign I was standing RIGHT next to! It looked at me and I felt immediate dread. I have always believed, (though I’m not sure where this belief came from) that crows were a bad omen. That if a crow was to initiate direct contact with a human it was to foreshadow something awful was going to happen. So when it landed on the sign next to me and looked in silence at me appearing completely unafraid of me or the fact that we were so close to each other im not sure why but I felt it was a warning.
In the days that followed, there had to have been almost a dozen or more instances where a crow landed VERY close to me and just looked at me as it to be trying to tell me something. One time I even came around the corner of a house I was visiting to find a crow sitting in the fence directly in front of me and it wasn’t startled by me suddenly appearing in front of it at all!! In the past my experience has always been that crows would flee if I got too close or if I saw someone try to approach one. So why now do they seem to be unafraid of me being so close to them and it seems they even seek out my company!? And are they a bad omen??
Hi Xhaphire, I’m very sorry to hear about your mother. Crows are not a bad omen. In many cultures they actually signify love and prosperity. Crows are just animals being animals, and whether you enjoy noticing them or not is entirely up to you.
Hello Our neighbourhood crow family (mamma and poppa toes) have lost their second baby this summer Now momma toes is acting like a fledgling .She sounds like a baby demanding food and flapping her wing like a baby Poppa toes is feeding her like a baby Seems weird Any insights Thanks Dave in Vancouver BC
Hi Dave, she might be getting ready for a second breeding attempt. It’s a bit late but that would explain the behavior.
Hi Dr. Scott, I read the article on here about the differences between the American crow and the common raven to try to determine whether ravens are in fact crows, and found what I think to be an implicit answer, but I’d obviously rather not misrepresent you. You wrote that there’s no distinct difference between ravens as a whole and crows as a whole and that there are many species named opposite what one may expect. As they’re part of the “crow family” would it be correct to say “ravens are crows” while specifying you’re comparing the groups rather than species such as how one would say Neanderthals are humans even though they aren’t the species immediately brought to mind upon talking about humans? Sorry for the long question and thank you for your time and expertise in the subject
Hi Josh, I’m happy to try and answer. But first a correction, it’s Dr. Swift, not Scott. I think it’s much less confusing and more accurate to say that “ravens are corvids”, and ‘are part of the family that includes crows”. This is but a small change in wording, but best captures the taxonomic reality of things.
We live along a green belt on the Seattle Eastside We have always had A LOT of birds, including crows. This summer there is a particular crow or crows who predate small birds and rabbits like never before. Is this a psycho crow, or could it be related to 1) so much construction, like for trains, or 2)the incredibly warm weather?
Hi Anne, it might just be really good at hunting live prey. For most birds this account for a relatively small portion of their diet, but if this crow has really honed its skills, then this offers and ideal source of food.
I have a bathroom skylight. Crows bring nails and tap on it. Today I heard a tap, looked up. The crow appeared to swallow something, then carefully picked up his nail and took it with him. Do you know what they are doing? I also would appreciate links for advice on being a good neighbor to crows. Thanks
Hm. I do not. It would be quite interested to learn if they are actually using the nail to access some kind of food item. That would be an important observation indeed!
As far as being a good neighbor the main thing is to keep cats indoors, keep any water resources cleaned, and don’t stare at them when they eat. It makes them nervous
I saw a crow with white feathers on its chest today what does that mean?
Malnutritioned? Juvenile? I live in California. Thank you
Hi Ashley, it can be for a variety of reasons. Here’s a post that will help: https://corvidresearch.blog/2014/07/09/crow-curiosities-what-causes-white-feathers/
Hello Dr. Swift, I remember reading in fascination your writing on crow necrophilia. How strange indeed and seemingly apart from and beneath the dignity of crow funerals, of which I have been privileged to observe. A few weeks back I was out for a stroll in our West Seattle neighborhood and was walking toward what seemed at a distance, a dead crow laying in a driveway. Before I could get closer to see, if indeed this was a dead crow, down swooped this large crow and he began the unmistakable copulation postures. Oh no! I thought this is really weird behavior! Then another crow flew down and started copulating postures with the first crow who flew down! Double weird indeed, but this gets weirder still as I was nearing toward them, they both flew up into a nearby tree, and I saw the “dead crow” wasn’t a crow at all, but some discarded shiny black gym shorts! Maybe this is more of a symbolic gesture, perhaps a way of defying death.
Enjoyed your interview with Allie Ward!
Hello Dr Swift, Firstly, go Bearcats! I’m originally an Oregonian and my mother and brother both graduated from Willamette which I see you went to for undergrad. I read some of your research on the disappearing NW crow, and found it very interesting. I was curious whether something similar may have happened with the Clarion Raven or Corvus corvax clarionensis, because I see it sometimes being mentioned but then it’s not mentioned anywhere like on eBird, etc. I live in San Diego now, and I am an eBird volunteer, and live in the city. I count lots of crows, and we’ve got ravens too, and where I am, it’s sometimes nearly an even split, with crows edging out the ravens more often than not. But my question has to do with some of the more confusing birds that I can never tell what species they are. E.g, the Clarion raven, or if that might be what I’m seeing. I read they’re sort of closely related to the Chihuahuans, and I think that is probably true because this last weekend for Big Bird Day I was walking along the Embarcadero and heard a corvid making a weird loud clicking noise, and looked up and saw this big fluffy black bird that had really long shaggy feathers and tons of shaggy white feathers on it’s inner neck when wind blew on it and also on side of it’s head. I thought, oh, raven, because it was making noises like a frog, had a long beak, but was pointy like a crows, but big, and the nose hairs went pretty far down the beak. The sun was in my eyes but I could see it had very shaggy feathers. However, when i got home and looking at the photos, I noticed that when the feathers were blowing in the wind all it’s under feathers were a bright thick solid white. Basically like Chihuahuan ravens have. I then saw a tourist had posted a photo of a Clarion raven while on vacation in Mexico Ref: https://shadetreeimaging.com/gallery/common-raven/#&gid=1&pid=11 and I wondered if that’s what I saw since I saw a study from about 100 years ago talking about them being in San Diego, but that’s all I can find other than random mentions of them here and there like in this person’s blog. Anyways, I just read your article about the disappearing NW Crow so wondering if you may know if something similar happened with this Clarion Raven. By the way, love your blogs, I always refer to them for my guidance for corvid info, so really appreciate all the posts you’ve written! Thanks, Lisa in San Diego
Hi Lisa, after a search through AOS, Clements, and Avinet what I can gather is that this subspecies hasn’t been formally recognized since the 80s. So yes, it might have gone the way of the northwestern crow, and eventually lost any genetic or ecological distinctiveness that merited it being called a subspecies.
Thanks for your reply Dr. Swift! I guess that’s why there’s not much if anything about it. If anybody’s curious what my bird looks like, here’s the link to one of the photos I uploaded to eBird: https://macaulaylibrary.org/asset/376399901
I’m a taxonomist so I love your “crow or no” exercise on Twitter. Well, I’m a nobody in science but I love sorting specimens, examining their form and guessing their lifestyle just by looking at their morphology. It’s my absolute favorite thing in the world. I’m also into affordable science—novel research questions that don’t need a big budget and complex equipment.
I love your story about you struggling in school as a kid and still ending up being a successful scientist—being able to pursue your interest and curiosity. I follow you and several other women scientists on Twitter who had similar struggles. I just want to say, you inspire me.
Thanks Marie! That’s really nice to hear.
I poked around your information—but nothing caught my eye about the harmful impacts of feeding corvids, supplementing their diet during lean times or a surplus for greater reproductive success (more offspring). The harmful effects are those that cascade through the local avian community since corvids are notorious for egg robbing, predating nestlings or fledglings, harassing breeding/incubating/foraging adults of other species—and so on. Please show me where u might address such local conservation issues. Thanks.
Hi Matthew, I don’t have any specific articles about feeding crows, namely because while over surplussing crows can have the effects you describe, there’s just not enough people doing it to have an impact at the population level (for crows or their prey species). To put it in perspective, Americans spend about 4 billion dollars annually feeding wild birds, and only a small fraction of that number accounts for peanuts. The majority is on bird seed and suet-items not really target towards crows. I do have an article on the impacts of crows more generally though that you might be interested in. You can find it here: https://corvidresearch.blog/2014/06/20/do-crows-reduce-other-songbirds/
I stumbled online upon your pod cast contribution at Alie Wards Ologies. Now I’m wondering if crows from different parts of the world have different dialects, cultural behaviour and habits or if they kinda run the same basic programming. How different can it get? And is there even any comparative research on this?
Best regards from Switzerland (where no one shares the same dialect with anyone 😆)
Hi Kim, yes they most certainly do! Namely because there are different kinds of crows in different parts of the world (just like there are different kinds of cats-lynx, tigers, pumas, etc.). In your neck of the woods are hooded and carrion crows, which are very similar to each other, but quite different from say the Hawaiian crow or the Mariana crow. There is a great deal of information on the different crows species of the world. There are some great resources on this like Cornell’s Birds of the World online database (which is a fee-based subscription), or if you’re interested in a hardcopy, this book by Madge and Burn will give you lots of the information you might be looking for: https://www.nhbs.com/crows-and-jays-book
Pingback: No, crows do not hold courts, nor do they have a criminal justice system - Soch Fact Check
I recently came upon a very strange event here in Portland, Oregon. Thousands of crows were in an uproar. A first just a few would make noise and fly from tree to tree then more and more would join in until it became a unified sound of protest. I was not sure of what to make of it. There was snow on the ground which is unusual in Portland. It seemed too organized to be a random event. What are they doing? What do they learning as a group that makes this beneficial to the whole? Is this a protest of sorts? What can we learn from them on how to process protests in our culture?
Hi John, sounds like there was a predator in the area. Maybe a red-tailed hawk or an owl. That’s the sort of thing that most often results in a protest like this
I’ve been told this is a daily event during the mornings . One individual heard the same thing I did through the windows of a commercial builder built to keep out noise. Have you been down to Portland to observe this?
Ah, you hadn’t mentioned that this was associated with a specific time. Given that it’s in the mornings, it’s likely activity associated with the dispersal of the nightly roost. Check out the same area in the evening…you might notice the same thing. Likewise you will probably see the behavior lessen as spring hits and birds start staying on their territories overnight.
The social element of this bird fascinates me. Your research brought a threat to the flock to see how they responded to it. Has there been any research on their social interaction if a ” blessing” or benefit is brought their way? John
Hi John, yes sort of! A study by my colleague more often less looked at what you’re asking. Here’s the link to my discussion of that: https://corvidresearch.blog/2019/03/14/crow-vocalizations-part-i-new-science/amp/
Over the last several days, I have noticed a loud sound coming from a couple hundred yards behind my house. Upon listening carefully, the noise seem to be coming from crows and or ravens. It sounds like a hundred of them. I hear them day and night. What would cause all of this ruckus? I tried researching this and have found nothing. Any help would be appreciated. I plan on making my way up the mountain to investigate further. Thanks for any help in advance.
Hi Mike, are you noticing it at a particular time of day? If so, it’s probably a roost!
Thank you! This is beautifully written and informative. I enjoyed the humor as well. I live in Santa Paula, California 12 miles from Ventura and the beach. Your descriptions suggest I see ravens rather than crows but do both live in the same areas? And do both circle over carrion? I live next to a mostly dry riverbed so I can see a lot of bird activity and find it fascinating.
Your research is fascinating, particularly from a sociological viewpoint! I’m glad you’ve found a niche that interests you, and I’m excited to see more from you in the future. I have a murder of American Crows that bring me gifts in exchange for small food gifts, and they’re truly fascinating. Stay well, stay warm, stay cuddled!
The crow video making the rounds on the frontpage of Reddit again. Get ready for your interview! https://www.reddit.com/comments/uh0zxy
Oh my, not that video again. And this one is even edited to take out the most important bits of context about what the crow is actually doing. Sigh
Hi I don’t know if this of interest to you. I am in the U.K and I have horses.
They have 2 large water buckets one pink and one purple.
The crows keep dropping bread, chicken bones and ham in the pink bucket but they don’t in the purple one.
So I leave the pink one and it gets a bit gross, as I have a certain amount of water so I am not changing it.
And the purple one is clean water, the horses drink from.
It is interesting the crows prefer pink.
Huh. That is interesting Annie. I wonder why?!
Your colleague Loma (.cool name ) directed me here . I am just a crow guy . The long relationship we have with this guys is fascinating . Any insight is appreciated .
Three crows were cawing outside my window. They flew to sit on the closest branch to my window. My desk is right in front of the window, so they could see me. I was attempting to communicate back with them, and went outside. They flew further back in my yard, but continued to caw incessantly. I then noticed one crow perched on a branch. It was not cawing like the others. They continued to fly to various trees, encircling me and the quiet crow. I felt like they were trying to get me to help the crow. It just continued to stay perched on the branch, with no noticeable injuries. Is this normal behavior?
Hi Natalie. I guess…yes? Different crows have different personalities and some are more shy than others. Obviously I can’t actually tell you what they were doing because I just can’t, but I wouldn’t read too much into the silent crow. I see that sometimes when pairs get agitated. One is more vocal than the other.
Hi! I am a recent graduate of Western Carolina University and I am extremely interested in ornithology (especially crows) and I would like to earn a masters in this area. I was wondering if you could point me in the right direction for professors that are studying animal behavior in corvids (I’m very interested in reciprocal altruism) thank you so much for your time!
Hi Elise, I would look into Dr. Andrea Townsend’s lab and Dr. Anne Clark’s. Good luck!
Dear Dr. Swift, my wife and I have a hooded crow which regularly visits us on our flower box, meanwhile it does so with its family consisting of the female and two children. The male sometimes shows a special behavior what we still do not quite understand and where we wanted to ask you if you have ever seen this in the wild. The male sits on the flower box slightly stretched upwards and the wings slightly spread, the head is relatively strongly tilted to the side the beak slightly to wide open and it looks directly at us. Do you know this behavior? I can also send a picture of this behaviour as you need .About an answer my wife and I would be very pleased. We send warmest greetings from Berlin in Germany.
Hi Nicolas, check out this post. I suspect this is what you’re seeing. https://corvidresearch.blog/2016/09/06/why-crows-sunbathe/#:~:text=Lastly%2C%20sunning%20may%20relieve%20discomfort,of%20their%20self%20care%20regimen.
Looks quite similar 🙂 Thanks a lot for the answer.<3 Best, Nicolas & Kathrin
Thanks for your work ! I interact (ok I feed) with two cadres of crows ( the gang of four and the less political fun boy three ) . My question is , how flexible are there concepts of territory or maybe this is a group of seven . For some reason I think fun boy three are all males. A Uber aggressive far right mockingbird has complicated the territory issue . However, the freely use the same area but not at the time. Fun boy three just grabs and goes . Gang of Four camps out
Hell-o Ms. Swift,
I understand that crows recognise a person, and I am wondering how long do they remember?
I befreiended 3 crows a year and a half ago and they were used to me coming out to feed them without flying away. I would make a clicking sound, trying to imitate the cackle they make (not even close) when I would go out.
Then I moved. I am now back in the same vacinity, 1.4 miles away, sharing the same woods as my last residence. I have tossed some food out and have seen about 5 come round and when I do see them, I make that same sound.
If these are the same ones, do they still know me? I have yet to see the one crow, who I named Mycroft, with a damaged wing. I wonder if it still is alive or if I have just not caught sight of it.
Thank you for your time and knowledge.