Crows are the most natural of change agents according to National Geographic and a young man named Joshua Klein. Both sources have spent years studying crows, and have discovered that they have an amazing intelligence and ability to adapt. I love Josh Klein’s perspective – he said we always study animals that are going extinct, when we should be studying those that are smart enough to change and adapt. I have to agree, and I never doubted the intelligence of crows for a minute. Here’s my story as to why crows have always been my heroes.
When I was eight-years-old, I had a variety of illnesses that required me to stay indoors for almost a year. Due to a lack of money, I had to stay by myself each day which was a little overwhelming for a fourth grader. I would watch my brother and sister leave for school, my parents leave for work, and would then face long hours with a lot of silence. The worst part was that for the first few months I had to stay indoors, losing all my Vitamin D and warmth that our Southern California sun provided.
After a few months long months (which convinced me I could never live in Alaska) I was allowed to sit in our small backyard for thirty minutes a day. That was excellent news . . . the only problem was that our neighborhood wasn’t the safest place to live and the yard backed up to an alley which made me a little nervous. But I refused to miss the opportunity to soak up the sun.
My first day out, I plopped in my lounge chair, turning it towards the sun which was hanging cheerfully over the telephone wires that were above our back fence. Immediately I heard a noise in the alley (which turned out to be a cat), and my heart began to pound. I closed my eyes and tried to focus on the warmth. Then I heard the welcoming rustle of wings. I looked up to see my first visitors of the day –a large black crow that settled on the telephone wire directly above me. He looked directly at me, and I felt a little less alone.
Next came three more crows, lining up like a military unit next to their buddy. I began to smile, as more and more crows joined our backyard party. Eventually there were at least twenty crows sitting above me, chatting and laughing (I swear) the entire time I sat outside. When I got up from my lounge chair to go inside at the end of my thirty minutes, they waited until I closed the sliding glass door of the house, and slowly began to leave.
For the rest of that year, no matter what time I came to sit in the backyard, my crows would join me within one to two minutes of sitting down. I don’t know how they knew the exact time, since it varied between 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 a.m., but they did. I started to recognize some of them — one had a wing that was missing a lot of feathers, one was unusually fat, one seemed more brown than black. I never fed them, so I’m not sure what the benefit of that time offered them, but they were a tremendous benefit to me. I named them, talked to them, and thoroughly enjoyed their company.
So, I’m not amazed that crows have intelligence and a remarkable ability to adapt to change. Watch the video below, it’s absolutely amazing. And to my crows, thank you for taking care of a lonely, sick, scared eight-year-old who needed your company and to whom you so generously gave your time.