Inspector Crow: birds investigate cause of death when they find a body

Originally published at:


one among the murder is murdered

Sorry, I have to steal that for a song I’m writing about my “boss”.


Crows that smart deserve their own show on CBS, Crow Scene Investigation


It appears to me that most people will do just about anything to avoid having to believe (non-cat/dog) animals may have an emotional life. I just started reading ‘In the Company of Crows’, it looks promising so far. I think it may be a good starting place for those wanting to learn more about the fascinating corvids.


Abrahamic religion bias. This belief is not shared by most of the rest of the world, I think.
Buddhists may believe that emotional life is maya, illusory, but they don’t suppose that animals don’t experience it. Animistic/shamanistic religions certainly do not.


I drove a Corvid back in the 70s. Chebrolete didn’t build good cars in that era.


I have a bad cold and I resemble this when I speak.


PBS aired a terrific documentary several years ago called “A Murder of Crows”. Such intelligent creatures. If you have an hour or so to spare, check this out. You’ll never look at crows the same way again:


Foxes and Raccoons also hang about their dead. In Japan I witnessed a raccoon that had recently been hit by a car, but was not quite dead. It’s mate sat nearby, poked at it, and seemed quite upset, only moving out of the road when cars approached, looking back the whole time.

Just a few nights ago, a fox was killed on the road near my home, and three others were watching over it, leaving as I got to close, but not disappearing into the woods. When I was a good distance away, they returned, sitting just a few feet from their fallen comrade.


Having an emotional life clearly does not stop most of the world from torturing and killing animals for little reason besides that they can consume them. We’ve decided that cats and dogs are pets with emotional lives and not to be killed, but even that’s not true in some societies. Basically, no one gives a shit how animals feel.

Link is broken (incorrect date in url).

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I don’t disagree, but then it’s pretty much a given that many people in the world will torture and kill other people for very little reason.
After our own referendum it was amazing how many really nasty people emerged from the woodwork in our own society. I am quite sure that given a Hitler or a Pol Pot, we’d find just as many willing mass murderers.


Based on the original photo caption for that lead graphic, from the NatGeo article, I am 100% sure the crows thought they were joining a death cult:


Worth reposting:


Crows are incredibly intelligent. Much smarter than most think…


I’ve actually witnessed a crow ‘funeral’ once while walking to work. A crow fell onto the sidewalk in front of me (I think it had fried on the power line above). Crows started gathering from blocks around and cawing, circling, landing, cawing more.

Whatever it was, it sure looked like a series of eulogies. It could easily have been a ‘did anybody see anything and what happened’ investigation. It could also be both.


i don’t get it, why did they have to wear masks? was the study just an excuse to get the creepiest picture possible published in national geographic?

if only the link weren’t broken i would know the answer to these questions

Crows recognize faces and will retaliate against people that do them wrong (even across generations). Read the article I linked upthread for more on that (ETA: or watch the doc @MBrody posted).


I already love corvids, but I would definitely like to watch that!

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Now I’m scared of scientists, too.