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Smart Animal Log: Yes, That Crow IS Looking at You

May 30, 2014

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Be Nice to Crows, Unless You Want Wild, Grudge-Bearing Animals on Your Case

FROM NEW SCIENTIST (Bob Holmes): “Wild crows can recognise individual human faces and hold a grudge for years against people who have treated them badly. This ability – which may also exist in other wild animals – highlights how carefully some animals monitor the humans with whom they share living space.”

I love crows. They’re smart, quick learners, social, calculating, and surprisingly acquiescent. I’ve seen them back away from a meal in progress when a squirrel approaches, for heaven’s sake… the chickens. I always felt that the crows who learned that my backyard and winter handouts of stale bread were safe, also learned to know me a little, but I had no idea that their face recognition ability and memory were so good. According to the research carried out by animal behaviorists at UW Seattle, they not only recognize and remember their foes, they pass this knowledge on to one another. It’s probably a good thing to be their friend.

You can see a video and read about the study here.

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