Saturday, 1 December 2012

Crows on ice

After days of heavy rains, it has been quite cold the last few days, and the large puddles everywhere have frozen over. A group of a dozen Carrion Crows had gathered this afternoon on the grass of my local park, probably before flying to their roost. This pair of Carrion Crows, undeterred by the cold, was actually foraging on an iced up puddle. One of the individuals even dared to walk on the ice, not bothered by slipping on it occasionally, an experience that is probably quite unusual, as they do not normally wade. This individual must have overcome a natural inhibition to walk on water. But not only that, both exploited this ability to look through the ice in search of food tidbits which normally would be out of reach, far from the puddle edge. The crows used their beak as a hammer to break through the ice and reach underneath, or to lift pieces of it. The less adventurous individual did this from the safety of the shore, but the other one walked about checking the whole surface of the puddle. Many ground-living invertebrates, such as earthworms, might have drown in the flooded ground after surfacing in search of air, and the ice itself provided the crow with a platform from which to obtain these otherwise unreachable resources.
 Another illustration of the wonderful opportunistic behaviour of crows.
 The following video has a short clip of the pair of Crows on ice. There is another one in my YouTube channel.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you Africa, that was a very interesting video. they have such intelligence don't they?