Saturday, February 23, 2013

Of Crows and Geese

Canada goose -- Like crows, sociable, interactive, loyal, cognizant, aware and adaptable to and recognizing of humans.

As one who watches many animal and nature documentaries, I was completely awed by "A Murder of Crows" shown last night on PBS.  ("Murder" is apparently the correct term for a flock of crows.)

Described as "among the most intelligent animals in the world," crows mate for life, possess complex social communication skills, mourn the losses of offspring and flock mates, are adaptable to humans, pass along information learned to offspring and even use tools.

With the exception of usage of tools, crows appear remarkably similar to Canada geese in terms of cognizant behavior, communication skills and complex social orders.

Unfortunately, it seems the more similar to and adaptable to humans, the more humans are likely to resent and even seek to slaughter such "intelligent" species.  Both crows and Canada geese have become relentless targets of human hate, propaganda and campaigns of destruction.

While I was aware that crows are intelligent (as are most birds), I had no idea exactly to what extent.  I have only had opportunity to see two crows in Central Park and that was a few years ago.   I have not been able to witness them first hand, as I do geese and ducks.

But, the real difference between crows and geese is that we have at least one very thorough scientific study of the behavior, intelligence and communications skills of crows, whereas we don't (to my knowledge) of Canada geese.

There have of course, been wonderful documentaries following the migration patterns and flights of Canada geese (and other migratory birds), but not particularly focused on intelligence, communication skills, learning and memory.

I believe such is sorely needed -- particularly in these days of expanded hunting of Canada geese and government (USDA) extermination campaigns against them.

Would scientific, research documentaries on geese make a difference?

Unfortunately, considering the continuing slaughter (by humans) of elephants, dolphins and gorillas -- animals whose intelligence and similarities to humans have been well documented -- probably not.  

But, they might help to better educate the rest of us -- and that is the beginning and process of eventual and positive change. --  PCA 


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