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Friday, April 22, 2011

The Cleanup Crew by Janette Slack

16" X 20"; Watercolor & Pastel

As part of Earth Day, I ventured outside this morning to clean up the street litter and garbage that often collects around a nearby retention pond over the winter. The crows, as usual, were there to help!

The crow's ebony coloring, aggressive loud cawing, and propensity to steal young fledglings have made these birds rather unpopular with many people. But, there is a flipside to this remarkable avian.

Crows are equipped with discerning intelligence, and can recognize humans individually. Their amazing problem solving skills allow them to break open food items (i.e. small containers) by dropping them to the ground from a 20' height. They possess incredible communication skills, and, as some scientific studies show, even know how to count.

Some people are terrified of contracting West Nile Virus from crows, but while a substantial number of these birds have died from the disease, scientists do not believe they spread the virus to humans.

As omnivores, crows will eat pretty much anything, including discarded fast food and roadkill. While many people feel that crows make a mess of the environment, these birds will actually help clean up the litter that we ourselves create!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Beautiful Painting and wonderful story about the crows. I wish more people knew this about them.