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you haven’t lived until you’ve realized that a crow is skipping out of joy because it found some salami

here is what i want to know:

- do crows count days?
- crows don’t fly in formation. why?
- why big lil burd so cyute :3

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@garbados for no. 2: natural anarchists, foes of order itself

@garbados They don't fly in formation, but they certainly fly together.

Here in Sausalito I've been observing for years now regularly that many of our crows meet up in a tree at the waterfront in the mornings. Like, hundreds of them.

I'd noticed this while waiting for the morning bus to SF, that around sunrise I see crows from everywhere fly to one spot on the waterfront.

I don't know if they do it every day, but I see it occasionally even now without the old commute.

@tsturm yes, they're extremely social! i have seen children fly in formation with their parents, so they understand the principles of formation, but in the general case they don't practice it. why?

@garbados @tsturm

When you talk about formation, are you talking about V shaped groups of birds?

Because that type of formation is only really useful for birds trying to cover long distances, in a North-South migration for instance.

Crows are not really migratory birds, they are scavengers. They do not fly in formation because that allows them to spread out and search for carrion more efficiently.

At least, that's my layman explanation.

@ParadeGrotesque @tsturm that's fair and true, but it's still interesting to me that they'll fly in formation with their young as part of their education. they understand the principle but in general they are more keen on chasing each other out of an arcane sociality.

@garbados @tsturm

Of all birds, crows are probably the smartest and the ones that take the best care of their young.

They will protect their nests and their chicks against predators and will even help other crows they are not related with.

So I am not surprised they "teach" their youngs by flying with them in formation.

@garbados @ParadeGrotesque @tsturm This might be a contributing factor as well -- with increasing intelligence comes an increasing sense of self-determination. Corvids (esp. crows and ravens) are quite intelligent.

When they're younger, they might be flying in formation for education purposes: to understand the principles of flight, so to speak.

But, as they grow older, they might think, "I can afford not to, so I don't." It might even be the case, "I just don't feel like it."

@garbados re: formation, this is pure speculation but afaik the ones that fly in formation are mostly
- larger birds
- smaller flocks
- migrate further
so probably for a flock of crows flying in formation is harder with less pay-off, so they don't bother

@jelle_dc that makes sense. i've seen them fly in formation when they're teaching each other to fly, so the idea that in general they choose not to because "why?" makes sense

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