September 9, 2019

"It died in my hands. If only I could explain to them, I was only trying to help. I just wave the stick around to shoo them off. Poor things, they believe I killed the chick."

Said Shiva Kewat, who tried to rescue a baby crow, quoted in "‘Revengeful’ crows target MP man in 3-year-old vengeance" (Times of India).
“The assaults are sudden and frightening,” he says. He has been injured several times in the head. “The crows attack him like they show fighter jets diving towards a target in movies,” say villagers. ...

Professor Ashok Kumar Munjal, who teaches genetics at Barkatullah University in Bhopal and researches bird and animal behaviour, believes that crows are more intelligent than most birds, and they do tend to show behavior similar to revenge. “It may not be as complex as in humans, but they do have a tendency of remembering individuals and targeting those who have wronged them,” he told TOI.

73 comments:

rhhardin said...

Crows in Japan will attack if you fail to give them garbage.

MountainMan said...

“The Birds is coming.”

Ralph L said...

He needs a hat and Jackie O sunglasses.

rehajm said...

So crows are smart, just not that smart. And vengeful. Great...

Is a recent osprey story off topic? Last month I was fishing in Montana and hooked a lovely whitefish on the larger side. I'm fighting it in the current and manage to get it within 10 yards of the bank when my companions start screaming about an osprey overhead. I look up and the little shit is diving after my fish. He crashes into the water on top of the fish and does the little flap wing dance for a bit then takes off with the fish. I'm wondering if I'm still hooked up and if he'll take me and/or the rod with him. How much thrust do these things make? Fortunately the hook fell out...

Later in the morning were floating along and we spot some trash floating the river. Our guide maneuvers the boat so I can pluck it out of the water. But wait- it's not trash at all. A can of Wind River IPA in a Simms coozie. Unopened! And Cold! Pop the top- it's perfect! How does this happen? We decided it was the osprey- Thanks for the fish!

The indians would say good trade...

daskol said...

You don’t fuck with the corvids.

iowan2 said...

Maybe this along with a nice semi automatic 12gauge will reduce the problem to a workable size.

Paddy O said...

"believes that crows are more intelligent than most birds"

That's a funny sentence. It makes him sound a) like he's talking out of a personal belief about something or b) like he is on the cutting edge of bird science.

Crows are more intelligent than most birds. It's been studied quite a bit. Whether they are the most intelligent might be a matter of opinion.

Once you realize how intelligent they are, it is really interesting to watch crows and especially ravens, go about their business.

Mike (MJB Wolf) said...

Always stood off aways when I shot crows. They are mean and they swarm. It’s funny how birds that size freak us out. We have peacocks and peahens roaming the yard and the cats follow at a respectful distance but nobody fears them. Likewise we’ll get nearly 20 hummingbirds overloading our feeders and they’re just cute. No swarm. But crows and seagulls are in that aggressive panhandler/uncanny animal valley where we don’t trust them.

traditionalguy said...

Good job crows. Remember the Alamo too.

virgil xenophon said...

The Birds!

rehajm said...

Crows used to gather west of Boston every year. I walk outside and hear something funny. Look up and it is lots of crows. Hundreds of them high in the air. No- it's thousands! Tiny dots circling around. Creepy and scary. They all go land in the parking lot at the Natick Mall, hang out for a while then go away. Nobody knows why or bothers to find out. Not sure if they do it anymore...

daskol said...

I have seen crows and jays and parrots ranked among the most intelligent animals. The strongest piece of hard evidence for their high ranking appears to be that they recognize themselves in mirrors. I still have trouble believing bird intelligence can be compared to mammalian intelligence with birds coming out meaningfully more intelligent even if they do better on animal intelligence tests.

tim maguire said...

Crows are fascinating animals. They seem to hold funerals for their dead. We've known for a while that they can tell the difference between people, and, obviously, they know how to hold a grudge.

Crows are pretty long lived. He needs to figure out a way to get off their naughty list.

tim maguire said...

Mike (MJB Wolf) said...
Always stood off aways when I shot crows. They are mean and they swarm.


Well...

Ralph L said...

They seem to hold funerals for their dead.

No, they always dress that way. They're fed up with reddit.

mockturtle said...

I've seen crows attack people who were just walking down the street. Crows are, according to many scientists, more intelligent than chimpanzees. link to one of many articles on this subject

traditionalguy said...

They sound like old Bodega Bay crows angry over Tippie Hedren romancing their local man.

But over-confident crows can be defeated like the Kaga, Akaga, Soryu, and Hiryu crows when they encountered Wade McCluskey's 33 dive bombers and woke up sunk to the bottom of the sea.

CWJ said...

Ralph L,

That was great!

Fernandistein said...

We'd get huge flocks of crows in the mountains and once I saw a fox running off with one of them, followed and dive-bombed by the crows. The crows followed and harassed that fox all year.

In Utah the ravens would fly low to the ground to get the dogs to chase them, then they'd fly over the edge of a cliff. Fortunately it never worked.

Fernandistein said...

He needs a hat and Jackie O sunglasses.

In some areas of Indiana people wear masks on the backs of their heads to make the tigers think twice.

Roughcoat said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Oso Negro said...

He’d lucky it’s crow. Apaches would come 50 at a time.

Night Owl said...

I guess they're not called a "murder of crows" for nothing.

mockturtle said...

Roughtcoat: According to the Bible, ravens fed Elijah when he was hiding out in the cave.

traditionalguy said...

Somebody has to say it.The Orange Crow's Tweet storms are like Wade McCluskey's dive bombers sinking the Fake News Media's Ships. They drew first blood at Pearl Harbor, Colonel.

Roughcoat said...

mockturtle:

True. Crows are regarded to be in the top five (after humans)in terms of cognition, intelligence, and associated mental skills. They are accomplished tool users and developers. They are indeed more intelligent than chimps.

Crow fact: They have an aesthetic sensibility, with an appreciation of symmetrical beauty, and will like humans they deem physically attractive and dislike humans they find unattractive. And, as the article explains, if they dislike you they'll give you hell for it. However, if they like you, they'll let you know, bringing you gifts (i.e., jewelry and shiny objects they've stolen from, e.g., people sunning themselves in the park or on a beach). We had a tree in front of our house that became a crow gathering place -- dozens of crows, all jabbering at each other, talking up a storm and making an incredible amount of noise. Almost deafening. Very social animals. I learned that if you greeted them and addressed them in a pleasant voice and otherwise comported yourself toward them in a genial manner, they would respond accordingly. I later consulted scientific studies that confirmed this behavioral trait, but I didn't need the studies, I learned about it through experience.

gilbar said...

They could/should make a Movie about this! It'd be SCARY!
They'd have to move it out of India though, no one cares about India
They could have a Really Hot chick in it; someone as hot as Tippi Hedren was

Mike (MJB Wolf) said...

So maybe I’m holding a grudge. Rehajm’s tale reminded me of a specific incident. We were driving the youngest daughter from SoCal to Santa Cruz. Near Santa Maria we stopped at an overlook to eat our picnic lunch and watch the ocean. Distracted by something I left my sandwich on the table momentarily, probably go get a Coke for my wife, and that moment if inattention cost me my lunch. Ravens dove out of the trees and got my sandwich. I still think they were laughing at me as they tore into it. I know Sandy and Amy had a good laugh. Damn birds.

chuck said...

I've seen magpies go after cats and dogs. They would also coordinate to get at the dog food, a few teasing the dog away so the rest could swoop in.

Roughcoat said...

He’d lucky it’s crow. Apaches would come 50 at a time.

HA HA HA, good Jeremiah Johnson reference!

mockturtle: Yes! Forgot about the ravens feeding Elijah! Could easily be a true story.

Crows, foxes, and coyotes figure prominently and often as magical creatures in the allegorical tales recited by prehistoric humans.

gilbar said...

I'm wondering if I'm still hooked up and if he'll take me and/or the rod with him. How much thrust do these things make? Fortunately the hook fell out...

That's why you use tippet! Even if you're using something as big as 1X, you wouldn't have to worry (about YOU, the rod, on the other hand, if you let go).

Ken B said...

If vengefulness is a sign of intelligence, then Trump really is a stable genius.

Bob Boyd said...

In some areas of Indiana people wear masks on the backs of their heads to make the tigers think twice.

That's why Mayor Pete wants out of South Bend.

daskol said...

I don’t understand how people can assert with such confidence that a bird is smarter than a chimp. They may do better on certain tests we’ve devised, but we’re not even that great at measuring human intelligence in all its glory.

Larry J said...

Some crows have demonstrating tool making behavior. Not too long ago, people believed only humans make and use tools.

Big Mike said...

I recently read a story written by a man who found an injured crow. He brought it home and nursed it back to health, then released it. Ever since then crows have been coming around his place, calling out to him. He figures that he's now an honorary crow (or a designated sucker).

daskol said...

Perhaps it’s just my mammalian bias

SeanF said...

Fernandistein: In some areas of Indiana people wear masks on the backs of their heads to make the tigers think twice.

I thought the Tigers were in Michigan, not Indiana...

The Cracker Emcee Refulgent said...

Love the detail that other villagers view this guy getting attacked as entertainment. Maybe there’s a genetic predisposition for reality TV.

mockturtle said...

Daskol supposes: Perhaps it’s just my mammalian bias

If you've ever been around cows you know how stupid mammals can be.

mockturtle said...

It was once supposed that brain size was an indicator of intelligence. Now we know how much information can be stored on a computer chip.

rcocean said...

Crows are smart but still make mistakes. Like the Crow that got eaten by a hawk, last year. We made the mistake of leaving our bag of groceries on the picnic table once. This was a fairly deserted campsite, with no crows around - we thought. When we came back 30 minutes later, every package in the bag had been opened and tasted. Fortunately, the hamburger was down at the bottom and untouched. A few buns were left untouched. So, not a total loss.

rcocean said...

Parrots I believe are much smarter. Sea Gulls don't strike me as smart, but maybe its their surly demeanor and unattractive look.

Michael McNeil said...

… just as NZ birds are inferior to other birds, because they evolved on islands.

Yet, New Caledonian crows (Corvus moneduloides, which evolved on the same half-drowned continent — known as Zealandia — as New Zealand also represents) are perhaps the brightest of that highly intelligent bird genus called crows (corvus).
New Calendonian crows have been observed making tools. Now, quite a number of animals actually will opportunistically use an (already existing) tool if they see it will be helpful to them — but fashioning tools not already ready for use is something else again. Few except basically chimpanzees and humans demonstrate this predilection in the animal world — yet here we see a New Caledonian crow capable of the feat: in this case quickly turning an otherwise useless straight piece of wire (and this particular crow had little previous experience with such things as wire) into a useful hook, capable of being used to draw a food-containing bucket out of a tube.

Michael McNeil said...

With regard to the foregoing, I should say: bringing forward from a thread the other day….

Michael McNeil said...

Good point, rocean. Though, as shown above, certain crows will make tools. Where's footage of parrots doing that?

Still, our own experience as thinking beings reveals that mimicry is a potent tool for everything from communication to technological advancement — yet few mammals (including few other primates) engage in it. Parrots, notably, and a number of other birds, do.

daskol said...

Cows do seem very stupid, but they have beautiful eyes. Bird eyes are the creepiest.

daskol said...

Look into a bird's eyes. There may be intelligence there, but is there a soul?

rcocean said...

Parrots don't need tools. They ask their owners to get it. that makes them smarter then crows right there.

rcocean said...

The problem with Parrots is they are very social and very long lived. They need lots of companionship and can't be left alone. So, you need two parrots or take them everywhere. Plus Cats are a problem.

traditionalguy said...

Point of order: birds are dinosaurs. They owe newcomer mammals nothing.

Roughcoat said...

I don’t understand how people can assert with such confidence that a bird is smarter than a chimp.

Suggest you consult the literature. Read the studies.

tim maguire said...

This is my favorite part of the story:

"For locals, it’s daily amusement. They hang around his home and wait for him to come out to see the crows launch their aerial attacks."

The Three Stooges will never go out of style.

Leland said...

If only the birds could convey that they didn't want your help. Oh wait, they seem to be sending a message.

Fernandistein said...

A while back I wrote … just as NZ birds are inferior to other birds, because they evolved on islands.

Michael McNeil Yet, New Caledonian crows (Corvus moneduloides, which evolved on the same half-drowned continent — known as Zealandia — as New Zealand also represents) are perhaps the brightest of that highly intelligent bird genus called crows (corvus).

Biological or genetic inferiority doesn't refer to intelligence, it refers to the ability to survive and reproduce (and differential reproduction).

The fact that many NZ birds (but not that one crow) are on the verge of extinction means that they're inferior, by definition. Doen't matter if they're smart or not, like this other island crow:

"A sacred[sic] crow driven to extinction on its native Hawaii has been found to be able to make and use highly effective tools in a discovery which could help conservationists reintroduce the bird into the wild later this year."

daskol said...

I don’t understand how people can assert with such confidence that a bird is smarter than a chimp.

Suggest you consult the literature. Read the studies.


I have looked at some! I am in a long standing argument on this topic with a scientist friend who lurks here but never posts. I've adjusted my opinion in light of what I've learned, but the point stands: the actual evidence of intelligence is pretty weak, or at least not strong enough to assert that these rankings of relative animal intelligence are so clear. Some birds recognize themselves in mirrors, rats don't, ergo birds are more intelligent. What I learned, most of all, through reviewing the studies out there is we haven't really got a firm grasp of animal intelligence, and there is a lot of interpretation out there that seems ahead of anything we've been able to determine with our relatively primitive means of measurement.

Fernandistein said...

With regard to the foregoing, I should say: bringing forward from a thread the other day….

I'm glad you did, to clear up the meaning of "inferior". Try a google search on "genetically inferior" (w/quotes). Almost none of the (MSM and political) results use the term properly. Then try it on "google scholar", where most of the results use the term correctly, e.g. in "Do female red-winged blackbirds benefit genetically from seeking extra-pair copulations?" and "Sperm competition in apparently monogamous birds".

Fernandistein said...

What I learned, most of all, through reviewing the studies out there is we haven't really got a firm grasp of animal intelligence,

Correct! If you want to rate animals' intelligence based on their making and using tools, then I vote for spiders, whose tools are far more intricate and complex than those of any other non-human animals, and ants, wasps and bees who cooperate socially to build complex weather-resistant dwellings and guide each other to food.

mockturtle said...

Fernandistein, I must leap to the assumption that rats are genetically superior to most species due to their adaptability and strong survival skills. Am I right?

Fernandistein said...

I must leap to the assumption that rats are genetically superior to most species due to their adaptability and strong survival skills. Am I right?

I'd say so. And for NZ, the new (euro) rats were better than the (somewhat native) kiore rats.

I made up a table so I don't get confused:

Humans can't wipe them out = genetically superior.
Humans try to help them survive = genetically inferior.

gilbar said...

I made up a table so I don't get confused:
Humans can't wipe them out = genetically superior.
Humans try to help them survive = genetically inferior.


Are you familiar with Brook Trouts? and Cutthroat Trouts?
Game & Fish depts out west spend a LOT of money poisoning streams to kill Brook trout, so that, after they've killed all the fish in the stream, they can 'reintroduce' Cutthroat trout into the stream.
Cutthroats breed in the spring, when mountain streams are mostly still frozen, and bugless. A Cutthroat trout stream is a marginal trout stream; at best. Brook trout breed in fall, when it's nice and warm; and the trouts have spent the summer feasting on bugs . Within about 10 years, the Brook trout will have found a way (swim upstream, be caught by an eagle and then dropped, magic?) to reenter that stream... And in a few more years, it will be back to being a Brook Trout stream (with LOTS of little Brook Trout).
So, the Game & Fish will RE poison the stream to RE'reintroduce' Cutthroat trout into the stream . This CONSTANT management is 'necessary' to have a 'wild' and 'native' stream.

MEANWHILE
Out in The East, where the Brook trouts are from; Rainbow trout (which breed in the spring, when it's comfortably cool) do MUCH better than Brook trout (which breed in the fall, when it gets a little too warm). So, IN THE EAST, they poison the streams to kill the rainbow trouts, and 'reintroduce' the Brook trouts.... Guess what happens then?

Allowing nature to have its own way is a Full Time Jobs

As my whimsy leads me.. said...

Mike Wolf wrote,
“But crows and seagulls are in that aggressive panhandler/uncanny animal valley where we don’t trust them.“

Speaking of seagulls, this is the funniest story I’ve ever seen in a newspaper. Be sure to read the link to the man’s letter to the hotel asking for a pardon from the banning after the mess caused by seagulls in his room.

“Fairmont Empress hotel lifts lifetime ban on Dartmouth man for incident involving seagulls and pepperoni”
https://ottawacitizen.com/news/weird/fairmont-empress-lifts-lifetime-ban-on-dartmouth-man-for-incident-involving-seagulls-and-pepperoni-over-17-years-ago/wcm/23f3eb2d-8878-4682-9ec9-db5cd1c478e7

mockturtle said...

“Fairmont Empress hotel lifts lifetime ban on Dartmouth man for incident involving seagulls and pepperoni”

That is funny, whimsy. When I was in Valdez, AK, I liked to watch the fishermen at the large fish-cleaning station working very quickly and attentively because flocks of gulls were perched nearby just waiting for an opportunity to strike. When we had a house on Puget Sound we noted that gulls would drop a clam from a fair height to crack it open. Of course, other birds do this, too. There is so much we don't know about all forms of life. Nature is, to me, the most fascinating entertainment of all.

PresbyPoet said...

Crows can identify individual humans. We can't do the same with crows. All crows look alike to us. That would indicate crows are smarter than us.

Regarding parrots: Our green parrot, when he saw a cat outside, yelled "Cat". The resident dog would bound to the window and bark.

The twist: We also saw the bird yell "cat" with no cat. The bird was bored. He seemed to laugh as the dog barked "which way did it go", "which way did it go?" The dog never seemed to catch on. Too trusting?

Jeff said...

Maybe he should tell them he wants to apologize and eat crow. Sure that'll do it.

mockturtle said...

The twist: We also saw the bird yell "cat" with no cat. The bird was bored. He seemed to laugh as the dog barked "which way did it go", "which way did it go?" The dog never seemed to catch on. Too trusting?

Yes, dogs are too trusting. Our cat would have a lot of fun at our dogs' expense by playing dirty tricks on them. There was never any doubt which animal ruled the household, even though one of our dogs was a large Bouvier des Flandres.

Limited Perspective said...

Grab your shotguns and your buddies. They need to know they're not the only ones who can show vengeance.

Robert Marshall said...

When I was about 10, living in Alexandria VA, I rode my bike a few blocks to school most days. For about a month or two, I had frequent encounters with a raven who lived somewhere in that area, and who would swoop down on me, landing on one of my shoulders and pecking my head while I tried to ride my bike. Hard to maintain control, in the middle of a raven attack! And this was before bike helmets, so it was sharp beak directly to the skull.

And it was always me, never my brother or anyone else that I knew of. I must have reminded the raven of someone he/she hated, for whatever reason. I never wronged the raven in any way, but he sure took it out on me.

I have vivid memories of riding along on my bike, taking fearful glances back, looking for something black in the sky. Probably related to racism.

ken in tx said...

I've seen crows play jokes and tricks on one another. Dive attack from the back and then hop around cackling at the one who was surprised. BTW, an old Korean saying, "Of all the sounds of a crow, none of them are music."

Original Mike said...

"Crows can identify individual humans. We can't do the same with crows. All crows look alike to us. That would indicate crows are smarter than us."

Or that all crows look alike.

Josephbleau said...

For better or worse, I learned all about crows by watching the Disney movie Dumbo.

Fen said...

Robyn Wright doesn't even know his name: Sgt. 1st Class Elis Barreto Ortiz, 34, from Morovis, Puerto Rico.

Althouse: :"You're wrong. The name is in the article. Why make assertions without checking?"

I did check. My mistake was when I got to the bottom of the page where it says:

MORE FROM
Our Columnists

I thought that was the end. Although now I see the article continues beyond that. Thank you so much for taking the time to point out my mistake.

Althouse: Really, Fen, your commenting needs improvement.

No, it really doesn't. It's been very sharp lately, more than usual. You are just saying that because I challenged you yesterday on another topic and you are holding a grudge. You sure you want to play that game? Because I am more stubborn than you.

Althouse: I'm going to start deleting you a lot more, beginning with this comment in half an hour. You may copy what you've written and attempt to rewrite it. If you don't want to go to the link and read or you need and don't want to get a subscription, you need to be circumspect about what you say is in the article.

OH. GO. FUCK. YOURSELF.

I will now happily copy everything I post here to repost 10 times over every time you delete it. And if you manage to ban this profile I will make several more and do it all over again.

OR

You can front page a public apology to me for being a vindictive bitch and singling me out because I had the audacity to challenge you on something stupid. What was it again? Oh right, I said I was "skeptical" that you were aware of the NPC meme. LOL.

(lets see now... New desktop folder: Althouse, new txt doc: Althouse1, copy and paste and save. Ready to launch upon deletion. Your turn....)

Stoutcat said...

Blogger Fernandistein said...

In some areas of Indiana people wear masks on the backs of their heads to make the tigers think twice.

Dang, I didn't realize Indiana was such a tough state!