We ask do Crows have emotions? Like humans do they have love, grief, anger? After observing them for several years I believe they do. Lately, I saw a program on PBS about odd couple animals and a segment highlighted an author who wrote a book on Animals and Emotions. That book is “The Emotional Lives of Animals: A Leading Scientist Explores Animal Joy, Sorrow, and Empathy – and why They Matter” by Marc Bekoff.
The author tells of a story about Magpies (which are relatives of Crows) that he and his friend came upon. Four of them were gathered around one of their own who had been hit by a car and was dead beside the road. One of them stepped forward and pecked him, similar to elephants reactions to death. He then stepped back and another magpie did the same thing. Another flew off and returned with grass, laying that next to his comrade. Another did the same thing. Then they all stood there for a few seconds. One by one they flew away. Was that a farewell to their own? Remind you of human funerals?
What else besides recognizing that they have emotions and attachments to each other explains this behavior?
I have known for many years that crows mate for long periods of times and keep an extended family close to them in a defined territory. Not only did I read this in articles but have observed my own crow families demonstrate this.
It is the time of year where they start to prepare to increase their families. Several years ago I wrote an article about Crow Love. The pair that frequent our back yard were sitting close to each other acting all lovey dovey, preening each other and sitting so close they touch. Here are a few photos of them and an eagle pair.
What do you think? Will you start watching animals and birds in a different light? I hope so.