The true crows are large passerine birds that comprise the genus Corvus which includes ravens, magpies, and blue jays.
In literary and fanciful usage, the collective noun for a group of crows is a murder. This name came about because a group of crows will sometimes kill a dying crow.
Loud, rambunctious, and very intelligent, crows are either loved or hated by humans.
Crows are very social and have a tight-knit family. They roost in huge numbers (in the thousands) to protect themselves from enemies like red-tailed hawks, horned-owls, and raccoons. Crow couples are thought to mate for life.
On a university campus in Japan. Carrion crows and humans line up patiently, waiting for the traffic to halt.
When the lights change, the birds hop in front of the cars and place walnuts, which they picked from the adjoining trees, on the road. After the lights turn green again, the birds fly away and vehicles drive over the nuts, cracking them open. Finally, when it’s time to cross again, the crows join the pedestrians and pick up their meal.
Biologists knew the corvid family to be among the smartest of all birds. But this remarkable piece of would seem to be a particularly acute demonstration of bird intelligence.The crows in Japan have only been cracking nuts this way since about 1990. They have since been seen doing it in California.
With Aesop's fable of The Crow and the Pitcher showing that humans have long viewed the crow as an intelligent animal. Crows & Ravens top the avian IQ scale. Crows show modest linguistic capabilities and the ability to relay information over great distances, live in complex, hierarchic societies involving hundreds of individuals with various "occupations", and have an intense rivalry with the area's less socially advanced ravens. Crows will engage in a kind of midair jousting, or air-chicken to establish pecking order.
However, scientists believe it is not physical need that drives creatures to become smarter, but social necessity. The complexities of living together require a higher level of intelligence. Corvids and parrots, are highly social–and smart–animals.
Some ravens certainly apply their intelligence for the good of the flock. They contact other ravens to tell them the location of a carcass. The birds roost together at night on a tree, arriving noisily from all directions shortly before sunset. The next morning, all the birds leave the roost as highly synchronized groups at dawn.
Intelligence used for their society
They may all be flying off in the direction taken by a bird, which had discovered a carcass the previous day,apparently sharing his prize finding with the rest of the flock.
Ravens share information about their findings of food carcasses because dead animals are patchily distributed and hard to find. Many eyes have a better chance of finding a carcass, and once one has been located, the information is pooled.
Although the carcass now has to be shared between more individuals, the heavy snowfall and risk of mammal scavengers taking the kill mean that a single bird or a small group could not eat it all alone anyway. Some are even believed to solicit help with the carving, by tipping off other predators, such as wolves, about the meat so they will rip it open.
While hawks tend to be the primary daytime predators of crows, their most deadly predators, in many areas, are the owls that hunt by night, preying upon crows sleeping helplessly in their roosts. Presumably their dark colour is particularly helpful in blending into nighttime shadows. Frequently crows appear to "play" with hawks, taking turns "counting coup" while escorting the raptor out of their territory.
To show bravery and receive honor by touching an enemy, usually with a special stick used for that purpose only. In some tribes, touching a living enemy had more honor than touching a dead enemy. Touching a man had more honor than touching a woman. The first to touch received more honor than the second or third. When feathers were awarded for coup, they were sometimes depending on the tribe, cut or painted to indicate the type and amount of honor they represented. Oddly enough, killing the enemy did not count for coup the first to touch took the honor, be he the killer or not. When used by the mountain man, the expression "I'll count coup on him" usually meant "I'll kill him", after which, the taking of the dead man's scalp was normal.
Extra-specific uses of colour in crow societies
Many crow species are all black. Most of their natural enemies, the raptors or "falconiformes", soar high above the trees, and hunt primarily on bright, sunny days when contrast between light and shadow is greatest. Crows take advantage of this by manœuvreing themselves through the dappled shades of the trees, where their black colour renders them effectively invisible to their enemies above, in order to set up complex ambush attacks. Thus, their black colouring is of great strategic importance to their societies.
Intra-specific uses of colour in crow societies
Even in species characterized by being all black, one will still occasionally find varying degrees of albinism.The treatment of these rare individuals may vary.For example, one such individual may receive special treatment, attention, or care from the others in its group, while another group of the same species might exile such individuals, forcing them to fend for themselves.
Crows are upset by the sight of dead crows. They grieve, or do something that appears similar. Crows come back and visit a kill site. They may visit several times a day.It is drawing attention to the problem to warn other crows away.
Crows, and especially ravens, often feature in European legends or mythology as portents or harbingers of doom or death. In Native American folklore, Crow is often seen as a similar trickster to Coyote.
"Unfortunately, crows are the victims of a lot of bad press. Look how the language treats them. The expression 'to eat crow' means to do something disagreeable. To 'crow' is to brag obnoxiously. Wrinkles around the eyes are called 'crow's-feet.' "
The public rap sheet on crows was long. Crows, their critics say, are noisy, nervy and messy.
Of course, the bird world has its share of “bird brains.” There are the birds that build three nests behind three holes under a flower pot, because they can't remember which is which, and birds that attack their own reflections.
What you need to remember is that crows adapt. You have to respect and admire something that adapts. Crows are opportunists -- “they will eat almost anything, including other crows. That scares people, but it's a very valuable role."
West Nile had first shown up in the far-flung boroughs of New York in 1999. By 2001 it was raging in the crow population in the Washington area.
The crow chose human civilization for survival .
Adaptability ,high intelligence are it’s tools in it’s struggle for existence .It is highly successful and an oppurtunistic feeder .
Yet despised ,unwanted & is considered a bad omen .
What might the crow the feel ?
Perhaps is best expressed in the delusional state of the crow patients .
The world around is full of WRONGS,CORRUPTION,selfishness, INJUSTICE , CHEATING,politics,plots. If a person dies,the next door neighbor is not concerned .
It is in this DIRTY world that he must use intelligence to struggle to survive.
Unwanted & despised,dirty,stiff & tight is what he feels and desires freedom ,natural space.
Yet desire for comfort,material things trap him-as he too murders another & becomes a part of this dirty world .
PIGEONS / DOVES
The pigeons and doves are some 300 species of near passerine birds in the order Columbiformes. The terms "dove" and "pigeon" are used interchangeably, although smaller species are more likely to be called doves.
The species commonly referred to just as the "pigeon" is the feral Rock Pigeon.
Pigeons and doves are stout-bodied birds with short necks and short slender bills with a fleshy cere.
This family occurs worldwide .It is related to the extinct dodo. The young doves and pigeons are called "squabs".
Pigeons are polymorphic for feather color. This means that pigeons come in more than one pattern of color.
About 5,000 to 10,000 years ago, humans began to capture and raise pigeons. Some they raised for food, some for racing, and some to carry messages.
City pigeons are feral. That means they descended from escaped domestic pigeons. In the wild, non-domestic rock pigeons nest and roost on cliffs and ledges. Which is why their feral cousins park their tails on statues and buildings,they hang around cities.
Doves and pigeons have a dignified charm and an intriguing though subtle personality. They can be a great companion bird as they are exceptionally neat making very little seed mess, extremely gentle and devoted, and one of the least expensive pets.
Doves and pigeons mate for life. That is an important reason why they are a cherished symbol of love and fidelity. Many of the following behaviors look so much like what we see in loving human relationships that it's no wonder that the description "lovey-dovey" was coined.
One aspect of the courtship of the wood pigeon, or ringdove (Columba palumbus), is the prolonged, gentle rubbing of one bird's beak, usually the male's, through the head feathers of his mate. While they are looking for a partner, the males strut their stuff in front of the object of their affection. The birds also appear to kiss their mates and very gently stroke each other's head.
Equal partners and devoted parents
Both parents bring straw, walnut leaf-twigs called petioles, pine needles or other local materials to build a very flimsy,thin nest on a flat ledge.
Both parents incubate the eggs: mom at night, dad for half of the day.
Both parents feed the newborns 'pigeon milk' a liquid made in the parents throats.
AN ARTIST !
In recent experiments at Cardiff University in Britain, a pigeon identified subtle differences between abstract designs that even art students did not notice. It could even tell that a Picasso was not the same as a Monet. The experiment seems to show that pigeons can hold concepts, or ideas, in their heads. The visual concept for the pigeon is Picasso’s painting style.
The White Dove, Sacred White Dove, or Java Dove is the universal symbol of peace, love, and tranquility throughout recorded history. From Noah to today's peace negotiations, writers, poets, and artists have used the dove to embody these ideals.
Another area where White Doves are commonly used is in magic acts. They are intelligent birds that can be taught simple tricks, and they are not afraid of being in a cloth handkerchief or a dark hat.
White Doves are actually a white variety of the Ringneck Dove .They are very easy to care for and have a very sweet gentle nature. They will do well in either a cage or in an aviary and can be kept as a single bird or as a pair. Once a White Dove is comfortable with its home and its family, It can be handled by adults and children alike.
Mild,sweet,peaceful & gentle as they are, shaking & trembling with fear.
They try hard to learn & be part of the human family that captures & cares for them .
Yet they don’t belong & feel suffocated,crowded,controlled and not respected &long for freedom,peace,calmness.
However if left free ,feel lost & unable to fend for themselves or find their way !
This then is the catch 22 ,that traps the DOVE .
You should only use trained white homing pigeons for dove releases. They are bigger, stronger, more visual, and they know how to fly home.
Homing pigeons come in different colors. White homing pigeons have been selectively bred over the centuries for their color and homing instinct.
You cannot train white ring neck doves to return home because they do not have a "homing instinct". White ring neck doves cannot fly more than a few feet away or fend for themselves. If released outdoors, white ring neck doves try to run free but they can easily fall pray to cats and hawks and may be hit by cars.
Homing pigeons are gifted with a superior eye site and memory that helps them find and remember landmarks such as rivers, lakes, mountains, and building structures. Unlike humans, they have the advantage of a "bird's eye view" that helps them recognize landmarks as far as their eyes can see!
Help! I am lost!
Q)Two days ago my family had a yard sale.Early that morning,the bird then began to perch on my dad's hat. The bird stayed the whole day, following my father and I wherever we went. Finally, after we packed everything up, it disappeared.Later,the bird came back!Could you please tell us why it is not leaving?
A)I strongly suspect that this is a lost,confused homing pigeon that thinks your house is its home.
The Wood Pigeon (Columba palumbus) is a member of the family Columbidae, doves and pigeons.
The three Western European Columba pigeons, Wood Pigeon, Stock Pigeon, and Rock Pigeon, though superficially alike, have very distinctive characteristics; the Wood Pigeon may be identified at once by its larger size at 38–43 cm, and the white on its neck and wing. It is otherwise a basically grey bird, with a pinkish breast.
It breeds in trees in woods, parks and gardens, laying two white eggs in a simple stick nest which hatch after 17 to 19 days. Wood pigeons seem to have a preference for trees near roadways and rivers. The nests are vulnerable to attack, particularly by crows.
Its flight is quick, performed by regular beats, with an occasional sharp flick of the wings.It takes off with a loud clattering. It perches well, and in its nuptial display walks along a horizontal branch with swelled neck, lowered wings, and fanned tail. During the display flight the bird climbs, the wings are smartly cracked like a whiplash, and the bird glides down on stiff wings.
The Wood Pigeon is gregarious, often forming very large flocks outside the breeding season.
Although they can be greedy feeders, taking large amounts of food put out for other garden visitors, they are an interesting species and well worth.
They also drink a lot. An interesting feature about how they drink is that they use their beak like a straw, whereas other birds scoop the water up and throw their heads back to let it flow down their throats.