[ExI] More bird IQ

BillK pharos at gmail.com
Sun Mar 1 11:11:13 UTC 2015

Lots of people love the birds in their garden, but it's rare for that
affection to be reciprocated. One young girl in Seattle is luckier
than most. She feeds the crows in her garden - and they bring her
gifts in return.

In 2013, Gabi and Lisa started offering food as a daily ritual, rather
than dropping scraps from time to time.
Each morning, they fill the backyard birdbath with fresh water and
cover bird-feeder platforms with peanuts. Gabi throws handfuls of dog
food into the grass. As they work, crows assemble on the telephone
lines, calling loudly to them.
It was after they adopted this routine that the gifts started appearing.
Lisa, Gabi's mom, regularly photographs the crows and charts their
behaviour and interactions. Her most amazing gift came just a few
weeks ago, when she lost a lens cap in a nearby alley while
photographing a bald eagle as it circled over the neighbourhood.
She didn't even have to look for it. It was sitting on the edge of the birdbath.
Had the crows returned it? Lisa logged on to her computer and pulled
up their bird-cam. There was the crow she suspected. "You can see it
bringing it into the yard. Walks it to the birdbath and actually
spends time rinsing this lens cap."
"I'm sure that it was intentional," she smiles. "They watch us all the
time. I'm sure they knew I dropped it. I'm sure they decided they
wanted to return it."


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