In our last top ten fact list about Crows we highlighted corvids from a scientific angle – they are intelligent, persistent, prolific, and hardy. In this list, we want to explore some of the stranger things about our favorite critter. Without further ado:
Crows living in suburban areas require only 10% of the nesting territory that crows living in in the wilderness do,Â and are much more tolerant of range overlap. They also will build fake nests to fool predators.
Dubbed ‘Anting’ by John Marzluff, crows will crush an ant and rub it all over themselves like perfume! The Formic Acid in the ants helps ward off parasites.
Pet crows give their owners names. This is identified by a unique sound they make around specific people that they would not otherwise make.
Female Crows mate for life, but males will cheat, which explains the next one:
Male crows have no penis.Â Their sperm is transferred from their cloaca to the female cloaca and copulation only lasts 15 seconds. Its a wonder the females are so loyal!
Crows can count to six!
Crows sunbathe for Vitamin D.
Healthy crows help crippled crows but they have a dark side. Crows occasionally murder each other for reasons that mystify scientists.
Crows have been observed chasing sparrows into buildings in order to stun them. The result is sparrow for lunch. Don’t worry, theyÂ pick on birds their own size – mobbing crows can seriously injure hawks.Â Scientists suspect an eagle was even killed by mobbing crows.
Crows have been reported to eat over 1000 food items, including insects, worms, berries, birds eggs and nestlings, small mammals, bats, fish, snakes, frogs, salamanders, animal dung, grain, nuts, carrion, fried chicken, hamburgers, Chinese food, french fries, and human vomit. They can be weirdly picky though – an experiment showed crows prefer French fries in a McDonald’s bag over those in a brown paper bag. To top it off, a nestling can eat 100 grasshoppers in 3 hours.