You've Heard of a Murder of Crows. How About a Crow Funeral? | Deep Look
by Super User, 11 months ago
They may be dressed in black, but crow funerals aren't the solemn events that we hold for our dead. These birds cause a ruckus around their fallen friend. Are they just scared, or is there something deeper going on?
SUBSCRIBE to Deep Look! http://goo.gl/8NwXqt
DEEP LOOK is a ultra-HD (4K) short video series created by KQED San Francisco and presented by PBS Digital Studios. See the unseen at the very edge of our visible world. Explore big scientific mysteries by going incredibly small.
* NEW VIDEOS EVERY OTHER TUESDAY! *
It’s a common site in many parks and backyards: Crows squawking. But groups of the noisy black birds may not just be raising a fuss, scientists say. They may be holding a funeral.
Kaeli Swift, a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Washington’s Avian Conservation Lab in Seattle, is studying how crows learn about danger from each other and how they respond to seeing one of their own who has died.
Unlike the majority of animals, crows react strongly to seeing a fellow member of their species has died, mobbing together and raising a ruckus.
Only a few animals like whales, elephants and some primates, have such strong reactions.
To study exactly what may be going on on, Swift developed an experiment that involved exposing local crows in Seattle neighborhoods to a dead taxidermied crow in order to study their reaction.
“It’s really incredible,” she said. “They’re all around in the trees just staring at you and screaming at you.”
Swift calls these events ‘crow funerals’ and they are the focus of her research.
--- What do crows eat?
Crows are omnivores so they’ll eat just about anything. In the wild they eat insects, carrion, eggs seeds and fruit. Crows that live around humans eat garbage.
--- What’s the difference between crows and ravens?
American crows and common ravens may look similar but ravens are larger with a more robust beak. When in flight, crow tail feathers are approximately the same length. Raven tail feathers spread out and look like a fan.
Ravens also tend to emit a croaking sound compared to the caw of a crow. Ravens also tend to travel in pairs while crows tend to flock together in larger groups. Raven will sometimes prey on crows.
--- Why do crows chase hawks?
Crows, like animals whose young are preyed upon, mob together and harass dangerous predators like hawks in order to exclude them from an area and protect their offspring. Mobbing also teaches new generations of crows to identify predators.
---+ Read the entire article on KQED Science:
---+ For more information:
Kaeli Swift’s Corvid Research website
University of Washington Avian Conservation Laboratory
---+ More Great Deep Look episodes:
Why Do Tumbleweeds Tumble? | Deep Look
Upside-Down Catfish Doesn't Care What You Think | Deep Look
Take Two Leeches and Call Me in the Morning | Deep Look
---+ See some great videos and documentaries from PBS Digital Studios!
Why Climate Change is Unjust | Hot Mess
Is Breakfast the Most Important Meal? | Origin Of Everything
How the Squid Lost Its Shell | PBS Eons
---+ Follow KQED Science:
KQED Science: http://www.kqed.org/science
---+ About KQED
KQED, an NPR and PBS affiliate in San Francisco, CA, serves Northern California and beyond with a public-supported alternative to commercial TV, Radio and web media.
Funding for Deep Look is provided in part by PBS Digital Studios. Deep Look is a project of KQED Science, which is supported by the Templeton Religion Trust and the Templeton World Charity Foundation, the S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation, the Dirk and Charlene Kabcenell Foundation, the Vadasz Family Foundation, the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, the Fuhs Family Foundation Fund and the members of KQED.
Super User uploaded a new media, You've Heard of a Murder of Crows. How About a Crow Funeral? | Deep Look
11 months ago