Forum - Banjo Ben Clark

Clever Crow's in the news

A theme park in France is set to deploy six “intelligent” crows to pick up rubbish and spruce up the grounds.

The birds at the Puy du Fou theme park in the west of the country have been taught to collect cigarette ends and other small bits of rubbish.

They then deposit the litter into a small box which will deliver some bird food as a reward for their hard work.

The first crow cleaners have already been put to work, with the rest set to join them on Monday.

Nicolas de Villiers, the head of the park, told AFP news agency that it was not just about keeping the area clean.

“The goal is not just to clear up, because the visitors are generally careful to keep things clean”.

It was also about showing “that nature itself can teach us to take care of the environment”.

He added that the rooks, which are a member of the crow family that also includes ravens and jackdaws, are “particularly intelligent” and “like to communicate with humans and establish a relationship through play”.

This is not the first time crows have displayed their intelligence. Earlier this year, scientists created a vending machine that showed the bird’s ability to solve problems.

The machine required a particular size of paper token to release a treat.

Scientists found that the crows could remember the right size of paper, and they even trimmed bigger pieces until they could fit into the machine.

Nice! Where I work thousands of crows roost in the surrounding trees during the winter. At dawn they wake and start crowing. The crescendo builds as workers scurry below, trying to dodge the droppings. It is best to note and avoid particularly soiled areas. Some employees deploy poop umbrellas. The darkness, loud crowing, sound of droppings landing all around, and workers rushing into the building makes the whole thing feel like a horror movie. If we happen to be experiencing a drought, all of those droppings create a wonderful ambiance later in the day. No rain to wash them away and city crews won’t power wash the sidewalks.

There have been some TV shows about how smart crows are. They can recognize particular humans and if a human mistreats a crow, the crows are able to communicate that. In one study researchers wore a mask during a mistreatment and whichever person wore the mask received the crows’ ire. Then they wore the mask upside down and crows would fly upside down to get a better look at them. For all those reasons, and a couple of obvious others, I never look up at the crows as I make my way to work in the morning.

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I had a crow follow mw half a mile, walking, hoping and flying a short distance ahead of me, I was carrying a takeout for a friend. When I was a kid I hated crows but now I like them I hate starlings instead.

I just wish the crows would pick up the litter down our street

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