Polite talking crow can't befriend grumpy squirrel
Competition at the backyard bird feeder is a natural thing. Squirrels chase each other and birds also squabble for their share of the food. But a wild, talking crow tried another approach when he landed on a branch beside the peanut supply. The talking crow was patiently waiting in line behind another crow. The first crow took three peanuts in his mouth before flying off. A red squirrel quickly dashed onto the peanut platform ahead of the waiting crow. The crow took the polite approach and greeted the squirrel with a friendly "hello". Believing that all was cordial and that the squirrel might be in the mood to share, he landed on the edge of the feeder platform. Ever so politely, he repeated "hello" as he moved in for a treat.
The squirrel didn't seem to care that the crow was polite, or that he was in line first. He promptly launched himself at the talking crow in a very unfriendly manner. He then grabbed a peanut in his mouth and made a quick exit. Quickly stashing his peanut, the saucy red squirrel returned to the feeder for another. This time, the talking crow flew in and landed on the branch, startling the squirrel. The furry little fellow ran right over the top of the camera with his peanut in his jaws as he made his escape. Ever the gentleman, the crow offered an apologetic "hello" as he hopped onto the platform and finally got his snack.
This bird feeder is located behind a home in Millbrook, Ontario, that is owned by a compassionate veterinarian. The animals who come to it for food are completely wild and free, but a family of orphaned crows fell out of a tree in the neighborhood in 2011. The parents were unable to care for them and the vet and her family took them in, raising them in as natural a way as possible. The crows learned to say a few words in a voice that resembled a parrot. One of their words was "hello". They greeted their human family with this word each time they flew in for a meal. They would also repeat this if the family spoke to the crows. The crows soon became wild again and integrated with a local crow family, even flying south with them that first winter. They return each spring and can occasionally be heard in the trees or at the feeder, saying 'hello". The family is relieved and thrilled each time they hear this because it tells them that their crows are still alright.
But it was a great surprise to hear the crows trying to speak with other wildlife, such as this squirrel. Incredibly intelligent, crows have complex language skills and understanding. It is obvious that these crows even understand that this word "hello" is a greeting.
But despite the impressive manners and friendly efforts, it doesn't seem to impress the local squirrels that a crow can speak "human".