Animal Intel
Video Segments

These brief video segments can be used alone or in combination, to introduce a topic or to spark discussion among your students. These videos are also used in the lesson plan Animal Intel (Grades 9-12).

Excerpts from the NATURE episode, “A Murder of Crows”.

As the Crow Flies

Hook, Line and Sinker

  • Animal Intel ~ Lesson Activities | Nature | PBS

    [...] 3:40 in, when the lab experiment begins. (Access the video segments for this lesson at the Video Segments Page.)  Ask students what intelligent behaviors or characteristics they noticed being displayed by the [...]

  • Animal Intel ~ Lesson Overview | Nature | PBS

    [...] Access the video segments for this lesson at the Video Segments Page. [...]

  • ann stacy

    obsolutely facinating! when i was growing up in AR, we had a pet crow; george was his name. i have always known how smart these rascals are.

  • marilyn kastien

    Last Spring (2011) a crow came and seemed to want to interact with me each time I came out of the house. His mate was shy in the background always but he became very friendly and unafraid. I live on acreage on our island so it is quiet and secluded here. I had read up some on crows so now I brought out food and each time I did the crow I named Good Bird would bow, make a unique gurgleor trilling chirp and fluff his feathers—–he bowed very low, bill almost down to the feet, feathers all fluffed out and then this cooing type song. His mate would only come over after he started feeding and they both flew away with food so I knew a nest was nearby. I began to feed them morning and evening with seeds, nuts, fruit and scraps of crackers or bread and some tuna. I also would mimic the bowing technique and sound. Good Bird came closer and closer —–so close I could have almost touched him and he did the bowing cooing BEFORE I even brought out the food—-when he saw me and he would fly to where I was. If other humans came he would shy away but come back once I came out alone. He neve cawed except when the two cats came out, and one cat in particular. So I kept them in when feeding the crows.

    Late summer or early fall the fledglings, three of them came in the background near the mother and were very noisy and at each other at times. I still kept up the routine until Good Bird disappeared —stopped coming. I went out calling his name every day but no Good Bird. He came back once not looking himself and then not again. This was in November. I would go out and call him, something to which he always responding by flying in when I called Good Bird. Then one day a huge number of crows —it seemed like hundreds—–perched in the nearby fir trees way up and then flew away. None of the other crows bow or make the song Good Bird did. I never heard it before and have never heard it since.

    The three young ones have come from time to time and always sit together on a branch but Good Bird and his mate have not returned. It saddens me deeply and I miss him much. I still held out hope but now think he is most likely dead or he would return—–but then again perhaps not.

    Why he chose to make friends with me in such a way, initiating this himself by bowing and making the lovely song, I do not know. I do know that we grew close. I also know there are people here who hate crows and make no secret of it. I hear guns every so often and horror of horrors there is even a dear hunting season on this developed island where shooting any deer even fawn and doe is allowed (I have two orphan resident fawns this year on my property trying to make it without their mother) so I suspect someone shot Good Bird. I have one not so good little video of him doing his thing and a couple still shots of him and his mate and that’s all.

Produced by THIRTEEN    ©2014 THIRTEEN Productions LLC. All rights reserved.

PBS is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization.