Crows… oh my!

Attentive readers will have noticed that I have never before talked about Crows. If you look at this frightening picture you will understand:

OMG: Crows, picture by Arthur Rackham, uploaded on Wikimedia

"OMG: Crows," by Arthur Rackham, courtesy of Wikimedia

First I heard a terrifying story on NPR, where co-Professors of doom Kevin Mcgowan and John Marzluff explain how crows can single out individual humans for mass rejection by the worldwide crow community. Can you believe it? If you anger one crow, it will squawk at you around other crows, who will then learn your face and squawk at your around more crows, until it gets around to every crow ever born. That’s terrifying. So wherever Professors McGowan and Marzluff go, crows go crazy around them, following them and shrieking at them, rather like Nazgul.

But I wasn’t going to post on it. Yet today I sit down in my Lazy Boy Chair with my cup of coffee, light a cigarette, open up my fresh New York Times on Google News, and what do I see? A horrifying myth come true. Turns out, like the classic Aesop Children’s Horror says, crows will use jagged rocks to raise water levels in order to do things like drink water at the bottom of the pale, or (more likely, says the latest science) gorily tear apart worms with their sharp beaks, probably just to vomit it back up into the quivering and moist mouths of their young.

Speaking of birds regurgitating, let’s bring this full circle to my previous post on the genetic inferiority of Asians:

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13 thoughts on “Crows… oh my!

  1. When my oldest daughter was living with us we had crows every morning crowing in our large poplar tree in our backyard..when she moved away, they left, never came back, I’m thinking you might have something there about the singling out thing, or maybe they just left.

  2. Hang on a sec. Crows single out individuals? not groups?

    So, they don’t project individual traits onto the group? Gosh, how terribly enlightened.

    We have much to learn from these scary bastard devil birds! huzzah!

  3. Where is the illustration from? And what don’t people credit photos and illustrations on blogs? It’s hardly fair use…

    I wonder if the female crows hold grudges longer than the male crows.

  4. My beautiful Isabel,

    First: Any relation to Salvador?

    Second: My usage of the crow picture is exactly fair use. You can click on it and it will send you to where it is from. Also, I’m not making profit off my blog, even though I obviously could, having one of the most well-read and content-filled blogs on the Internet, in recent years.

    NS

  5. Thanks, that is helpful. But fair use? I don’t see how someone using a photo to illustrate their non-educational publication is fair use. In fact that is exactly the type of use artists are normally paid for, or at least give permission for. What am I missing here? If someone used one of my illustrations or photos to illustrate their blog post without credit or permission I would be annoyed.

    Are you sayng the fact that someone could click on it and find the source is as good as getting permission and giving credit? Must be some interweb rule I wasn’t aware of.

    I’m not picking on you in particular.

  6. Okay, I figured it out. I was curious to know if it was an Arthur Rackham which it was. The address shows up when you hold the cursor over it. (so I had to type it in – actually I just typed the last part into Google)

    And it’s not fair use, apparently it’s copyright-free. Not the same thing. And it would still be nice to give credit, just as you would have if you had quoted another writer, especially at great length.

    Your blog is funny though. I’ve enjoyed reading it. I especially enjoy your musings about the fairer sex:)

  7. He’s mainly known for his illustrations of fairies.

    “I find your comments wise and just. ”

    Thanks! That’s the nicest (and wisest) thing anyone has ever said to me here in the blog’o’sphere.

  8. “Speaking of birds regurgitating, let’s bring this full circle to my previous post on the genetic inferiority of Asians:”
    Hell of a digression, there.

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