• marjorie
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      Easier time as more options for breeding spots.
    • Garry
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      possibly their system, with added, options givesthem a little more success in breeding
    • Garry
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      Easier time because they can inherit a territory rather than fighting for one
    • I'm not sure what percentage of crows eventually breed compared to other birds. Crows live longer than many songbirds, so going to breeding "college" with familial support seems like an advantage. Whereas the local Chickadee only lives a few years and needs to breed in the first one.
    • G
      Participant
      Chirps: 6
      The system looks very complex looking at it from afar, but to crows this system provides many opportunities to breed with other crows where other birds would fail. Crows are very plentiful birds as it is, and their system likely contributes to their high numbers.
    • Amy
      Participant
      Chirps: 7
      I think that crows have an easier time breeding than other birds because they interact with each other so frequently. That gives them a higher chance to find a mate, and possibly find a nesting site with another crow.
    • john
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      Crows should have a harder time because they have more structure to support.  If they were only territorial for a small part of a year, then their activities the rest of the time would be simply seeking food and safety.  However, they are engaged in a full time job with feeding siblings, seeking adjacent groups to join (or not) or establishing new territory.  There's no time for just hanging out.  So the options to be a breeder are varied, but very structured, making it more difficult to get established in a long term relationship with a mate and the crow community at large.
      • BETTE
        Participant
        Chirps: 2
        As I think about it, it appears that crows have advantages and disadvantages.  The female crows seem to have the most disadvantages because they ususally do not  inherit a territory, only the males do.  The female only gets to inherit a territory if the matriarch of the family dies. Since crows usually take three years to mature before they mate, it would seem that it is more difficult for them to find a mating partner than other birds.  Yet, because crows mate with cousins and/or siblings that would appear to make the mating possibilities easier.  I wonder if those crows that mate with siblings have shorter life spans and/or they more vulnerable to disease?
    • Ellen
      Participant
      Chirps: 10
      I think an easier time. As long the individual birds are patient (willing to wait 2 or more years before trying to breed), they have many options as to where they will breed and with whom. It all helps with the end result - successful breeding each year.
    • I think that the several options crows have due to their social structure most likely makes it easier for them to become a breeder than most other birds. However, it may be very difficult for them to find new territories if a particular crow opts to go that route.
    • Barbara
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      Because of the family dynamics compared to other birds they are more likely to succeed in successfully breeding.
    • Tammy Tyrrell
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      I think finding breeding territory may be more difficult to find.  But with the social structure and support of family groups I believe there may be higher success rates for breeding and off spring. This of course would be a case by case family by family situation.
    • alice
      Participant
      Chirps: 14
      I would like to think that crows have an easier time because they have time and ‘home’ at their disposal.
    • Sallie
      Participant
      Chirps: 11
      It seems that Crows have a somewhat easier time getting to be a breeder with all the options available to them. However, if you happen to be the only female juvenile bird in a family of males bird siblings your chances of getting to be a breeder seems more difficult since the males are dominate over the females.
    • Dennis
      Participant
      Chirps: 20
      There seems to be a advantage to the social/breeding structure of crows and it seems remarkably similar to humans and other highly social animals. It clearly has been successful in spite of efforts by humans to eradicate them.
    • Elaine
      Participant
      Chirps: 9
      It seems to me that due to the intelligence of this bird and the variety of options it instinctually has to be a breeder, it generally might have an easier time than many other species to be a breeder, but I do think it depends on on each bird's situation.  Perhaps a bird doesn't have a living siblings, so the option to go off with a sibling may not be available to that particular bird; or perhaps an enemy, such as a hawk or an owl, has infiltrated its parental territory in recent days making staying home a difficult option.  Though I must say I have seen family groups go after  hawks that have attacked nests.  They don't seem to be a very shy species!
    • Karrin
      Participant
      Chirps: 47
      In listening to this video, I found myself wondering how crows ever breed at all, even with all of the options available to them. On the other hand, I can see how the extensive social networks would be advantage - the more fellow crows you know, the better.
      • Carol
        Participant
        Chirps: 4
        That's exactly what I was thinking. Oy! The territorial issue makes my head spin.  I'm sure it's second-nature to crows, but what a task to get established and mate.  Still, something must be working in their favor, considering their abundance and success rate. I would assume that is the family and social network, as you say, and the extended time to learn.
    • Karen
      Participant
      Chirps: 6
      I have a tangential comment / question -- about territory.  We have what seems to me a lovely territorial situation for crows--ample food (including peanuts on ground) that we put out, many large trees, a stream right out back....  I commented on a previous module about a hawk attack on one in a family of four that had been regulars in our yard for several years. The family seemed to have success in rescuing their member--we saw all four crows in the yard thereafter, but not for very long. It then took years for us to see more than an occasional crow or two at our feeding station: Only this year have we had a family of six hanging out regularly. Could it be that our "territory" became branded as "dangerous" among the local crow community?
    • Paul
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      I think there are evolutionary pluses to all breeding/territorial strategies, depending on what types of food and other resources in the environment different species exploit.  For a widespread "super-generalist" like a crow, I think their territorial behavior fits well.  "Easier" in comparison with other species is not really a question - different species have evolved different strategies that work for the resources they utilize.
    • Dorothy
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      Think they have an easier time because they can always come back home
    • Vicki g
      Participant
      Chirps: 21
      even with all options, seems tough to break in as a breeder!
    • ReikiDave
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      I'd say that crows have an easier time getting to be a breeder simply by the expanded options available in a family-unit-based environment.  Rather than having to go off on their own and compete on their own, crows are supported in their efforts by their families.  They also have the option of waiting while assisting their birth family.  All around this is an easier system in with more options which to become a breeder.  (IMO and based on the information learned in this course).
    • Harder, because  crows have a higher cognitive ability than most birds, making their decisions in conflict with feelings, crows also have more options than most birds, making decisions hard.
    • Fred
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      I suspect crows may be more successful (i.e., easier time) due to the many options cooperative breeding among the group provides.
    • Sally
      Participant
      Chirps: 7
      Hard for me to compare crows to other birds when Iknow  so little about other birds. But it appears that the crows have a good amount of options for breeding which is to their advantage.
    • Jeffrey
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      Do crows wash their food?  We often find bird parts in our bird bath.  We suspect crows are killing other birds and washing the food in the birdbath.