You may remember that in my recent blog post Consider the Grackle … I wondered, given how smart both crows and grackles are, what would happen if both species lived in the same place. Would they squabble, co-operate, avoid each other, form an alliance overthrow humanity, …?
If you were wondering too, read on …..
My first thought, when faced with a crow puzzle, is always to see if Kaeli Swift (crow scientist extraordinare, and author of the fabulously informative blog, Corvid Research) has an answer.
In this case she did not, but she did (naturally) know where to find it.
She took the time to contact the very scientist who’s study about grackle smarts I mentioned in the previous post — Corina Logan.
Corina very kindly wrote back to Kaeli, who passed on her message to me:
“Hello! I just got back from setting up my grackle field site in Arizona, but there weren’t really crows in the city so most of my observations come from Santa Barbara. Crows are generally dominant to grackles (though one of my students saw a grackle displace a crow once), but the crows won’t get as close to humans so the grackle have the advantage there. Grackles often sit on chairs and tables and wait for people to turn their heads or leave the table, and then they steal their food (the cafes have to replace loads of food!). Meanwhile, the crows are sitting in the trees watching all of this. It isn’t until the humans are entirely gone that the crows will come in to eat. I haven’t noticed crows roosting with grackles. And they don’t seem to interact too much in the wild.”
So there we have the answer to my question — scientifically observed in the field.
We also have an illustration of how generous busy scientists can be with their time and information. Thanks so much, Kaeli and Corina!
8 thoughts on “Crow vs Grackle”
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Very interesting, crows are a bit stand off-ish aren’t they. I had never thought about that before. Can we contribute their not wanting to mingle so closely with humans to the fact that they are very smart..??!!
Good point … 😏
I love the artwork on this post. I keep coming back to it, and wondering how you did it. I would love to have your skills as a photographer and graphic artist. If it doesn’t have yarn, I can’t do it!
Well, Kelly – first of all I know for a fact that your skills are not limited to yarn related activities (although what you do in that realm is pretty awesome!) The graphic for the Grackle vs Crow post was made using two of my photos – one crow, one grackle. I made the background on both of them white, and I extended the branch that the crow was on the create a visual divide between them. When the kids were first born I bought a computer and taught myself what we called back in the day “desktop publishing” so I could do graphic design work from home. Since I’ve been using Photoshop since the days of it’s first invention, I’ve managed to figure out lots to do with it — although there’s still a lot that remains a mystery to me. Hi to Doug!
Hey I’m from Ontario Canada and I see Crows and Grackles mingling on occaision, and they don’t seem to mind each others company! It’s not often they are seen mingling but it’s definitely something I have seen before. My community is not super urban so maybe the competition for food is not as fierce.
Thanks – that’s good to know that they can get along under the right conditions. They do have much in common. 🙂
Hi from Long Island , NY , crows arrived numerous and close this year and I see them fighting every day with grackles or blue jays and started to see some corpses of small birds 😬 I’m starting to be worried…