Crows can recognize friends and foes


Centre Hall

Seeing that the State College Public Works Department is on a mission to scare crows away with effective noisemakers, makes me wonder if the labor force knows that our crow cousins have a special gift for remembering faces and even masks.

Not only are crows gifted with facial recognition talents for identifying unique humans, avian researchers in Seattle have discovered that crows communicate to their friends and even their descendants about human characteristics, effectively marking social points against their nemesis’s (and up-votes for friends).

With this remarkable skill in mind, workers may want to consider wearing their hardhats when they’re out hiking the woodlands this season where the crows they’ve encountered have re-roosted, to prevent return harassment from the recalling crows. And perhaps donning a hat of a different color would confuse the crows with worker identity and be the safest hat for all.