When you discover something new on the internet, you usually find – minutes or hours later – that everyone else already knows about it, and you’re just late to the party. And so it is here. But what the hell. Petya Cosmos recently alerted me to this hilarious, and interesting, video. The drama, the suspense, the sheer, epic scale of what unfolds, the music from Predator… make sure you have the volume turned up loud… [NB – only watch the video if you can have the sound on too].
Maybe it’s just me, but I found the video hilarious (and brilliantly edited). Then again, I always did find cats unusually amusing.
The birds are Hooded crows Corvus cornix (that’s right, not the same species as the Carrion crow C. corone anymore: see Parkin et al. (2003)) [adjacent Hooded crow pic from wikipedia]. What the hell are they doing? It sure looks like they’re harassing the cats purely for their own entertainment (I’d like to know if we can rule out other possibilities: are they defending a patch of territory?, for example). Their taunting, teamwork, and ability to pre-empt the cat’s moves are all suggestive of a complex intelligence, but you already knew that this was true of crows. Pass me a New Caledonian crow C. moneduloides, I have some woodwork that needs doing. The video is also a nice introductory tutorial to domestic cat body language. Lesson 1: aggression and hostility.
Thanks to Petya, and well done to ignoramusky (sound director) and Akael88 (cameraman).
Ref – –
Parkin, D. T., Collinson, M., Helbig, A. J., Knox, A. G. & Sangster, G. 2003. The taxonomic status of Carrion and Hooded crows. British Birds 96, 274-290.