The Way of the Crow



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In fact, crows in general are excellent mimickers. I received letters from several people, who all attest to this skill in crows. Norman Deale remarks,

Before he was a year old, Jim (the crow) had learned to imitate me. He would sit on my wrist while I repeated "Hello" over and over again. Soon Jim was replying and using my own tone of voice. Besides, he laughed exactly like I did - an amused sort of giggle, as I recall. And he also learned to call "Help!" The surprising thing was that Jim seemed to have reasoning ability. When the dog or young kids threatened him, you would hear him calling 'Help!' He would sit in the trees beside our lane and say 'Hello' to anyone coming to the house. Many people would return his greeting, and then he would laugh much to their embarassment. 

Myrna Wilson of Upper Rawdin, Nova Scotia, writes,

Hoppie (the crow) could talk. He would say a number of things and would sit on top of the house and chatter away. Some times it was easy to make out what he said. However, the word he used the most was "Elmer," the name of the boy who looked after him. Hoppie would follow him to school and sit on top of the school and holler 'Elmer' as loud as he could.

The teacher contacted his mother asking that they keep him home. They locked him in the porch while Elmer walked to school. Later, they released Hoppie, and it wasn't long before he arrived at schoolagain, hollering 'Elmer'. Everyone thought he was so smart to find his way to school all alone.

Florence Langille of Tantallon, Halifax County, writes,

My brother Donnie, who now lies in France, losing his life in the very early days of World War II, was an avid woodsman. Each spring he brought home a young crow. They would spend the summer with us, returning to their own gang in the late fall. We never confined them, always letting them leave when they were ready. Only once do I remember one spending the winter in the hen house having, I guess, decided he was one of them.

Each crow was for some reason called "Joe". They would all learn a few words by the time summer was over; mainly "Hello" or "Hello Joe," which were the words they usually heard. But they picked up other sounds. I remember my mother searching in the hedge for a clucking hen, figuring she had hidden her nest away to hatch some chicks, as they liked to do. After pushing the bushes aside, who walked out but that summer's Joe, happily clucking as he had heard the hens.

Finally, Madeline Way of Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, comments on her neighbour's (Raymond Swinimar) crow experiences,

A few years ago he had a tame crow who learned to say "Hello" very clear and precise. As he grew older he flew away with other crows, but is still in the area. You can often hear him in the trees, saying hello, but not as clearly as he gets older - never caws as other crows.

Right now he has another who immediately as he hears Ray's car, comes flying down to land on the car window. As Ray emerges from the car, he lands on his head. Jo Jo (the crow) has many little tricks, such as clinging to the wiper blades and going for a ride.

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