• Jo Anne
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      I'm still mulling over the fact that the only truly reliable way of determining the sex of a crow is blood analysis.  I have been attempting to guess males( by what seemed to me to be useful) that in a pair one seems to have a slightly larger head due to more or ruffled feathers.  Is this at all reliable?
      • The size difference between male and female is so slight that even the crow experts don't always guess the sex correctly just by visual characteristics. Size can be deceptive and feathers can be fluffed up or smoothed down variably by a bird. So the only reliable way to sex crows is by DNA. Thanks for asking about this.
    • Kathryn
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      Definitely the wing tags for distance ID!  And I was interested to know how long the crows live.
    • Michele
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      Most interesting --  the wing tags for distance identification!  So curious as to how these were developed, made, coded, attached.  Would love to learn more.
    • Peggy
      Participant
      Chirps: 10
      What was most interesting to me is the focus on individuals, and the ability to stay with an individual bird through its life. To me, this brings understanding of the species to a whole new level - beyond the abstraction of “crow” to a specific, concrete, real life. To our untrained eyes, individual birds of a species look identical. We can’t sort out sibling relationships or even mates outside the breeding season. How much richer to know this crow is 17 years old, the brother of this bird and the mate of that one! How much more connected we become to a fellow creature when we are able to see it as a unique individual.
      • Chris
        Participant
        Chirps: 13
        I agree; well said!
      • Anne
        Participant
        Chirps: 5

        @Chris Yes, so true!

      • Anne
        Participant
        Chirps: 5
        We see our pet birds and other pets as individuals, so why not view crows and other wild animals the same way?
    • Desiree
      Participant
      Chirps: 16
      I was very happy (and surprised) to hear about the crows that had been tagged and observed for so long. I think it’s wonderful that the people working on the crow research are able to track family relationships. I really wish I could do this with the crows I feed, but unless one crow has some unusual feature or personality tic, I have a hard time telling the ones in my yard apart. I also was surprised and very charmed by the elderly crow’s white face feathers. In the picture he looks dignified and wise. I hope the younger crows are taking his advice.
    • Susan
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      Interesting the number of tags used.  Did not realiza this.
    • Amanda
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      I was a little surprised at how tolerant the crows seemed to be with the researchers. In my own personal study, I'd read accounts of crows remembering for years the faces of researchers and reacting adversely to their presence. Perhaps I was just misinterpreting what I saw in the lesson in that regard. And I was pleasantly surprised at how long the crows lived. I'm definitely in the love crows category, and I hope this work helps to improve the lives of crows everywhere.
    • Sherry
      Participant
      Chirps: 6
      I was surprised that they were able to take track of individual crows for up to two decades, that they understood the family ties between crows and that they could find family members still flocking together (such as sisters two years apart).
    • janine
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      I am very surprised at how long they live and at their changing eye color.
    • Mary
      Participant
      Chirps: 10
      I was also surprised at how long they can live and that you can still recognize them when they have lost all their Id tags. I also wonder if the wing tags are annoying. I was also wondering when researchers would start using some kind of broadcasting tag since miniaturization has gotten so good. And I was wondering what kind of camera the researchers have that can now catch birds on the fly.
      • Chris
        Participant
        Chirps: 13
        The idea of using a smaller digital device on the crows seems like a better idea than the unwieldly big tags; then the crows could be identified from longer distances, and perhaps more accurately.
    • Sean
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      I was surprised to learn how long crows can live.
    • DLadetto
      Participant
      Chirps: 6
      I was surprised that some can live so long that their leg bands fall or wear off.