Crows: An Intelligence No One Seems to Care For

By: Gwendolyne Chambers

Crows have long been hated by humans. Nobody seems to care for the black winged silhouette of the sky. They’ve had to deal with things from angry farmers to people trying to make crow meat popular. Thankfully, crow meat never became popular and died out. However, these dark angels seem to thrive, despite what people have done to them. 

People once tried to get rid of crows in 1949 in Montezuma. They had half sticks of dynamite with shrapnel on them. They planted the bombs in the field crows would go to at night, it was suspected there were 400,000 crows and they estimated 2,000 of them to die in the explosion. They underestimated the cleverness of a crow. The night the bombs were to go off, the corvids were in trees, far enough from the explosion to be safe. When shotguns were fired at them, they did nothing but weave away. Despite a crow not being in sight, the people went ahead with setting off the bombs anyway. Not a crow was found dead that morning, instead they were found a mile away, safe from the explosion. The media soon followed, mocking the men who tried to get rid of the crows.

Crows, rather corvids in general, have absolutely massive brains. They are the smartest bird in America. Crows have an EQ (Emotional Intelligence) of 4.1, which is very close to chimps, who come in at 4.2. Crows have the intelligence level of about a 7 year old human. Many may think that that’s useless because seven year olds are dumb and stupid, when actually seven year olds are creative and resourceful. Think about the things seven year olds can think of. Seven year olds can use tools, which may be an everyday thing for a human, yet crows use tools too and even can make their own. They’re smart enough to drop nuts onto hard man made surfaces to crack the nut. They’re smart enough to do anything a seven year old can do, and suddenly second graders are a lot more terrifying now.

An example of when crows used tools is Betty. She was a crow researchers were watching at Oxford. She has been given a simple straight wire and a bucket with treats at the bottom of a tube. She tried taking the bucket out just with the wire straight, however, she realized that wasn’t working. She bent the wire into a hook and took the bucket out, claiming her treats. Later, after Betty had died in 2005, more crows had been brought in. The experiment was done again, and those crows created the hook as well. 

Crows are also smart enough to remember faces. An experiment was done at a college where they had people in caveman masks catch crows. The crows were later released, and later, when new generations of crows had been born, they had the people in the caveman masks come out again. The crows became loud and the scientists had come to realize it was the crows recognizing the caveman masks. This proves that crows remember faces. Because of this memory, however, crows can hold grudges. Long story short, don’t make a crow upset.

Crows are intelligent and lovely creatures and yet people remain hating them. They’re hated for their implications of a bad omen, yet it’s all superstition. Crows being sacred to Apollo in Greek mythology yet you won’t see many people speaking of that. They’re beautiful, and disliked for a reason humans created. 

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