Who knew that even nature believes that what goes around, comes around? That’s what 8-year-old Gabi Mann discovered from her home in Seattle.
How Seattle Girl Gets Crow Gifts
Gabi’s friendship with her neighborhood crows began in 2011 with a single chicken nugget. She was four at the time, and noticed that hungry crows were quick to pick up spilled food. In fact, more crows gathered every week hoping for tasty treats.
Gabi grew to love the crows and turned the accidents into a daily ritual in 2013. She and her family had a birdbath and bird-feeder platform in their backyard. Fresh water and peanuts were added every day, while crows watched and called out as they worked.
It didn’t take long for something wonderful to happen.
The Gifts that Crows Give
The crows would always clear the feeder of peanuts, but started leaving behind small gifts. Gabi and family found Earrings, polished rocks, tiny pieces of metal, and more inside the emptied feeder. The crows wanted to share anything shiny they could find and fit in their beaks.
Gabi recalls one gift warmly. It was a tiny piece of metal with the word “best” on it. Gabi likes to imagine that the crows have another piece that says “friend”. She likes to imagine one of her feathered friends wearing the matching piece as a necklace.
Seattle Girl’s Favorite Crow Gifts
Gabi’s affection for the crows and their gifts has led to a special collection. She adds her favorite objects to a container on her family’s dining room table. She happily shares her collection with guests simply saying “You may take a few close looks, but don’t touch.”
The collection is organized into rows of small objects in clear plastic bags. Many of these bags are labeled with the time, date, and location of discovery. These treasures include small pieces of colored glass, broken light bulbs, buttons, beads, and even Lego pieces.
Some might call the collection odd for a young girl, but Gabi considers her crow gifts to be more valuable than gold.
Sometimes, these gifts are more than trinkets to the Mann family.
Birds Take Care of their Friends
Lisa Mann, Gabi’s mom, takes pictures of the crows as a hobby. She charts their behavior and interactions and has a camera all set for the job. But she lost the lens cap to her camera one day while filming a bald eagle from a nearby alley.
Imagine her surprise when she returned home to see a crow rinsing the same lens cap in the bird bath and leaving it to the family.
“I’m sure that it was intentional”, Lisa said with a smile. “They watch us all the time. I’m sure they knew I dropped it.”
Do you want to get to know the crows in your neighborhood?
How to Make Friends with your Local Crows
John Marzluff, a wildlife science professor from the University of Washington, says the following.
“If you want to form a bond with a crow, be consistent in rewarding them.”
Marzluff also writes that you should offer “A few peanuts in the shell.” He says that’s because “It’s a high-energy food…and it makes noise when you throw it to the ground, so they hear it and they quickly habituate to your routine.”
Four Years with Crows
The neighborhood crows have been very kind companions to Gabi Mann and her family. One chicken nugget started a family ritual that has given them special gifts from special bird friends. With patience and the right kinds of food, you might find friends in your local crows.
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