Friday, March 25, 2016

Crow Blacker Than Ever

Crow Blacker Than Ever,  2016, Oil on Board, 12" x 12"
The crow family is known as corvids.  They are among the smartest birds in the world capable of using tools, playing tricks, teaching each other new things, recognizing the human face and even holding funerals.  John Marzluff, a researcher at the University of Washington, has studied them for more than 35 years and made fascinating discoveries.  The most interesting is how one crow can come to recognize a human face and then spread that knowledge to other crows through voice calls.  This knowledge has been shown to be passed down through generations long after the original crow has died.  Marzluff proved this  by wearing masks and capturing (later releasing) crows.  Years later that same mask can be worn in the area and subsequent generations of crows go crazy squawking and attacking the wearer.