Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

BirdNote: Crow Funeral - with Tony Angell

Tony Angell

Tony Angell, along with Professor John Marzluff of the University of Washington, wrote the book, Gifts of the Crow: How Perception, Emotion, and Thought Allow Smart Birds to Behave Like Humans.

Tony says, "A crow 'funeral' is where the deceased bird is surrounded by members of the same species, in significant numbers." Crows descend from the trees, and they walk around the bird on the ground. And then they fly off.

It's very likely that the crows are learning from this experience. Is there danger here? What does the death of this particular crow mean to the social structure of that community of crows? It seems to be a little more complicated than just paying homage.