Wisconsin Ornithology: American Crow
In Wisconsin, United States
Size:  (not chosen)
How Geocaching Works
This series highlights several of my favorite birds, all of which can be found in Wisconsin. I have found all of the birds included in the series (with one exception). Each cache is somehow related to the highlighted bird. In many cases you will find hints to finding the cache in the information provided about each bird. Each cache is hidden in roughly the environment the bird can be found. None of the caches are hidden in a nesting box or a fake nest (with one exception of a very non-standard nest), so if you find a nest or nesting box—please leave it alone it has nothing to do with the cache.
Image by http://stockmichelle.deviantart.com/art/Black-Crow-in-flight-101574139
The crow is one of the most widely recognized birds world wide. Even folks who do not have much interest in birds are aware of the Crow--even if it is simply because of their raucous noise. For many the crow is a nuisance: its early morning cawing, its damage to agricultural crops, and its frequent dining of curbside trash few find endearing. However, there is a lot more to the crow than this initial impression.
American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos)
Crows are among the most intelligent of all animals and likely the most intelligent of all birds. Crows have a remarkable ability to problem solve. One species of crows, the New Caledonian Crow, is quite adept at tool making. Crows in Japan have been observed standing at cross walks waiting for the signal to change from “don’t walk” to “walk.” Once the signal changes they will hop out into the street and drop nuts and then hop back to wait for cars to crush the shells. I heard several years ago on Wisconsin Public Radio a wildlife rehabilitator tell of hearing an incredible story of crows in the Green Bay area chasing squirrels out into traffic (apparently the crows love squirrel meat, but don’t like to do the killing themselves). This wildlife rehabilitator initially doubted the story until by chance she happened to be driving through this area of Green Bay and witnessed the crows chasing the squirrels into traffic for herself. They can remember and pick individual humans out of crowd years after the human gave offense to the crow. They are also able to point out the “problem human” to all their friends and relatives (you don’t want to tick off a crow--they can live 20 or more years). Crows have even been witnessed engaging in sports.
Crows are also very social. They live in family groups that can include children born during five separate years. In the winter they can gather in groups ranging in size from several hundred to groups numbering over a million. An injured crow will be fed and taken care of by crows in the area. However, a crow entering a new area and unknown to the local crows will likely be killed by the established crows in the area. Crows have the ability to communicate detailed information to other crows. Researchers have even been able to identify regional dialects among crows.
This cache asks if you are smarter than a crow. It will test your problem solving skills and your ability to identify and use simple tools.
The Geocache Notification Form has been submitted to and cache placement has been approved by Brad Bates, Badger State Trail Manager of the Wisconsin DNR. Geocaches placed on Wisconsin Department of Natural Resource managed lands require permission by means of a notification form. Please print out a paper copy of the notification form, fill in all required information, then submit it to the land manager. The DNR Notification form and land manager information can be obtained at: http://www.wi-geocaching.com/hiding
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Last Updated: on 4/5/2013 3:25:19 PM Pacific Daylight Time (10:25 PM GMT)
Coordinates are in the WGS84 datum