Friday, October 30, 2009

Something to Crow About

I recently watched The Nature of Things with David Suzuki, a Canadian documentary series on CBC. The episode was called A Murder of Crows which details the inner life of one of the "most intelligent, playful and mischievous species on the planet".

I have a new respect for these birds--they are able to recognize faces, use tools and problem solve. When they're making all that sleep-rousing noise, I think they might actually be trying to tell us something. Here are some crow facts that I lifted from the CBC website:

Crows are found on every continent except Antarctica.
Crows have an exceptional ability to remember and pick a single human face out of a crowd.
Crows are far more likely to be found living close to cities and suburbs than out in the country.
Each generation of crows is capable of building on an earlier generation's knowledge.
New Caledonian crows are one of only three species, besides human, in the world capable of making tools.
Crows live with a mated pair, their kids, and offspring from previous years in an extended family.
Crows have different warning calls - one for cats, and one for hawks, and another for humans - 250 in all.
Crows are omnivores and eat fruits, vegetables and meat.

Check out a short video clip here.

Friday, October 16, 2009

What a Ride!

A tiny, three week-old kitten was brought into the shelter several months ago. It's grey and white fur was dirty and matted, and the poor little thing had a Botfly larva embedded in its cheek (this was immediately and successfully removed). But that wasn't the most harrowing thing this kitten had experienced.

He had survived a 30 kilometer (27 mile) drive along a busy 100 km/hour highway, clinging to life under the hood of a car! The driver must have exited his vehicle, heard the meows, then investigated. Luckily, he brought the kitten in, and it's since been adopted.

I just loved the happy ending to this story. That is, I loved it until someone asked, "I wonder how many kittens there were under the hood at the beginning of the journey?"

Now I have this horrible video playing in my head, and I can't get it out.