Interesting crow behaviour.

ey_tony

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I've always known that crows are very intelligent birds and I've observed them on occasions taking hard/stale pieces of bread and dipping them in water to soften them but a few minutes ago I saw an even better example of their behaviour.

I watched a regular Carrion Crow land on the roof of the house opposite and in its beak it had a piece of what looked like stale bread. He was clearly wandering up and down the edge of the guttering looking for what I suspected were pockets of water which lay in the less than perfect guttering levels and eventually he appears to have found one to his liking in and his head bobbed down and when he came up the bread wasn't in his beak so he'd obviously dropped it in the water as I'd seen them do on other occasions but the curious part was that this time he them wandered along the guttering again and picked up a beak full of the very dark moss which grows in the gutters around here and went back to where he'd placed the bread and covered it with the moss.

Whether it was to hide it or help moisten the bread I don't know but it was certainly interesting behaviour.

It's amazing just what you see with regard to wildlife even without leaving your home. For the past three years up to last year we had a resident pair of crows and never had any trouble with Sparrow Hawks but this year the SHs have returned as there aren't any crows nesting locally. I know crows get a bad press but the result from the crows nesting locally was that the small population weren't being decimated by the wretched Sparrow Hawks as the crows would chase them off. We had song thrushes making a welcome return and there are broken snail shells everywhere you look so that is good news.

Unfortunately we also now have a Magpie nesting locally and my neighbour witnessed one of them killing a fledgling blackbird on his lawn the other week. It came around my hedge a few weeks ago looking for nests to raid and was near to where the blackbird with the strange head I mentioned earlier had it's nest...he was furious and so too other birds which mobbed it and I gave them a bit of support and frightened it away. I've chased it away a few times and now as soon as it sees me it's off! :)
 

4wings

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Nov 10, 2019
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Bristol
Crows, Magpies, Jackdaws and Blackbirds patrol the edges of my pond during the tadpole and froglette seasons. The begging food from a Jackdaw by baby Magpies was a first.
 

Wee Jimmy

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Jun 13, 2007
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Fife
I’ve been feeding a pair of carrion crows for a few months now.They nested in the big tree opposite my house and they are now raising two fully fledged youngsters.I only have to go to my front door or stand in view of them at my window and they fly over to me.One is more confident than the other and is happy enough to be within touching distance.The other one is a wee bit more skittish and will let the other bird take the lions share.When the youngsters weren’t as demanding as they are now.I could watch the pair of them stashing any excess food in my neighbours plant pots,or the lawn or under roof tiles etc.They certainly go out of their way to cover it up by pulling up bits of turf or moss from the roof.
It’s fascinating watching their daily dramas with other corvids and seagulls.
I’ve never thought of them as particularly pretty birds but when you see them at such close hand I’ve changed my mind.I getting quite attached to them....:p
Btw I have a feeling it’s the female bird which seems the more trusting of the two but I’m not 100%.I can’t really see any size difference to be honest.Does anyone know how to tell them apart..?
 

Cap'n Fishy

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Sep 29, 2008
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Embra
I've always known that crows are very intelligent birds and I've observed them on occasions taking hard/stale pieces of bread and dipping them in water to soften them but a few minutes ago I saw an even better example of their behaviour.

I watched a regular Carrion Crow land on the roof of the house opposite and in its beak it had a piece of what looked like stale bread. He was clearly wandering up and down the edge of the guttering looking for what I suspected were pockets of water which lay in the less than perfect guttering levels and eventually he appears to have found one to his liking in and his head bobbed down and when he came up the bread wasn't in his beak so he'd obviously dropped it in the water as I'd seen them do on other occasions but the curious part was that this time he them wandered along the guttering again and picked up a beak full of the very dark moss which grows in the gutters around here and went back to where he'd placed the bread and covered it with the moss.

Whether it was to hide it or help moisten the bread I don't know but it was certainly interesting behaviour.

My guess is it was using the moss to bury it - caching it for later. (Just seen Jimmy mentioning the same thing.) Last year we stopped on our way to Loch Lomond for breakfast at the truck stop at Buchlyvie. There was a young rook mooching about, so I chucked it a corner off my sausage bap. It scoffed the bit of sausage, and then took the bit of bread roll across the lawn and buried it in the grass.

But the crows at the Botanic Gardens certainly use the pond to wet food they get from the folk feeding the birds...

Spotted this one - got a bit of hybridisation with a hoodie crow in there, mehtinks?



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