From this morning's NPR, as I drove into work. Happy happy happy.
The Crow Paradox
by Robert Krulwich
July 27, 2009
Here's a surprise: Wild crows can recognize individual people. They can pick a person out of a crowd, follow them, and remember them — apparently for years. But people — even people who love crows — usually can't tell them apart. So what we have for you are two experiments that tell this story.
First, how do crows tell us apart? Watch this video.
Now, our second experiment. On you. There are crow scholars who raise, study, and even live with a crow. But once that crow flies off and joins a group, these researchers say they can no longer tell their crow apart from the others.
So let's see how well you do:
Crows have this uncanny ability to tell one human from another. And they'll hold a grudge if you do them wrong. But can you tell one crow from another?
Interactive: Crows Can Do This, But Can You?
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[7 min 49 sec]
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If you want to hear researchers describe what it's like to alienate a crow, and then be razzed and harassed by its family and neighbors wherever they go — tennis courts, ATM machines, parking lots — listen to our radio story. We'll also tell you how unbelievably long a crow can keep a grudge.