There are many people who like to feed birds especially the pigeons in the park that gather in a second when food is being distributed. However, not many people are fans of crows and usually they are left on their own in the food chain.
Children can really amaze us with their honesty and choice for pets, and most of them want to be friends with animals but not many succeed in that. Gabi Mann is not one of them as she has developed true friendship with crows that she has been feeding for a long time.
This little girl from Seattle, Washington, had a habit to feed the crows who did not forget her kindness and an as token of their gratitude they have started to bring her various gifts.
Gabi is keeping her presents in a storage box in labeled bags marking the gift of each crow. For instance, the bag of the broken light bulb is labeled in the following way: “Black table by feeder. 2:30 p.m. 09 Nov 2014.” Up to now, she has received plenty of beads, buttons, pieces of foam, Lego pieces, and paper clips, but her favorite gift is the pearl-colored heart.
Gabi started to feed the crows when she was 4 years old and that happened by accident. She had the habit of always dropping food and the crows followed her to check if she had dropped something that they can eat.
When she got older, she understood that they followed her because they were hungry, so she started feeding them on her way to and from the bus stop. The crows learned this very quickly, and they were waiting for her every day at the bus stop. She was going with her brother to school and theirs lunchboxes almost always ended up empty.
The whole family started to feed the crows, and since 2013, Gabi and her mother have been feeding them every day. They started to leave peanuts and dog food for them and also filled the backyard birdbath with fresh water. The birds really quickly learned that is all for them so they assembled on the telephone lines, calling loudly to Gabi and her mother.
After some period of time as a token of their appreciation the crows started to leave gifts for Gabi and her mother. Gabi likes them all, but the most valuable is the piece of metal with the word “best” stamped on it. She finds this object interesting knowing that there might a crow wearing the part that says “friend’”.
John Marzluff, professor of wildlife science at the University of Washington, says that it is possible for a human to develop a bond with a crow, but one needs to “be consistent in rewarding them.” There have been previous cases when crows offered gifts to other people but most of them were rather nasty. Gabi also received some of them too like a rotting crab claw.
Lisa, Gabi’s mom, also receives gifts from the crows and her favorite one is the camera lens cap. The interesting part about this gift is that it was actually hers that she has lost it in an alley near their house.
She explains how it was brought to her:
“You can see it bringing it into the yard. Walks it to the birdbath and actually spends time rinsing this lens cap. I’m sure that it was intentional. They watch us all the time. I’m sure they knew I dropped it. I’m sure they decided they wanted to return it.”
Lisa said that Gabi really loved watching the crows eat, and she even developed an ability to recognize them giving them various nicknames.
The National Audubon Society, a nonprofit organization that protects birds, states the following:
“Crows are amazingly smart, social, and playful, and they’re one of the few bird species that’s been documented to have individual human facial recognition. With all of these factors combined, it’s easy to see why they would develop a very interactive and social relationship with this family.”