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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Game (12/06/12)

TITLE: Brain Bird
By darlene thompson


While I was out for a stroll, the

sky filled with black shrouds and

maniacal screams. The war was on.

The crows screamed and climbed higher

into the sky as they sought to bring

down the red-tailed hawk. They doved

at him in pairs of two and threes. The

red-tailed soared higher. The crows

pursued him. He soared even higher.

With one rush of speed, the hawk left

the crows behind.

About a half-hour later, I walked

by a grove of trees and heard the sharp

chatter of squirrels. The crows had

landed in a nearby tree. The squirrels

barked profusely at the crows as if to

say, "you're not welcome here." It

seemed like all the creatures were

angry with each other.

Most people don't realize how

intelligent the crow is. It is con-

sidered the smartest bird in the bird

world. A crow's intelligence can be

found in their cleverness. One crow

acts as a sentry. He observes when

danger is around or spots food. He

sounds out the familiar caw caw. If

danger is present, the caw caw

increases with fervor. If he spots

food, a pleading caw caw comes forth.

The sentry waits until the rest have

eaten before partaking of his found

bounty. They use a variety of calls to

communicate. They respond to calls of

other birds. Their vocalizations are

complex and poorly understood by


The crow is shiny black, about 18

inches in length, with a thick neck.

Crows are found in all the lower 48

states. Usually, their habitation is

in woodlands and forest but as the

world has changed, crows have adapted.

Today, they can be found on lawns,

parking lots, athletic fields, road-

sides, towns, and even garbage dumps.

They are very social and even enjoy the

presence of people. Crows are in-

quistive and mischievous.

They are omnivorous and eat a

diverse diet which may include other

birds, fruits, nuts, mollusks, earth-

worms, seeds, frogs, eggs, nestling

mice and carrion. They reach sexual

maturity at about three years old for

females and five years for males. Some

live to be 20 years old. American

crows are highly susceptible to the

West Nile Virus. They usually die

within one week of acquiring the


Crows have a large mass of brain

cells. They score high on intelligence

tests. They can pick out shapes in a

toy ball. Some engage in using tools.

Often crows use stiff leaves or stiff

stalks of grass as tools. Crows will

play a game with each other. They have

the ability to hide and store food.

They can recognize the faces of people.

They will drop nuts on the paved street

for vehicles to crush.

The next time you see a crow,

remember you are looking at the brain

bird of the bird kingdom. Henry Ward

Beecher said, "If men had wings and

wore black feathers, few of them would

be cleaver enough to be crows."

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This article has been read 227 times
Member Comments
Member Date
C D Swanson 12/14/12
They are quite intelligent. I recall watching a program that showed a crow trying to get something in a tube. He walked over to a wire and cuved it with his beak, and slipped it into the tube to get the food out!

Nicely done. I enjoyed this.

Thanks. God bless~
Lynda Lee Schab 12/18/12
Definitely a creative take on "game." Lots of interesting info. on crows/ :-) Format is a little off, but very informative entry!
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 12/18/12
This is an interesting essay. I never used to be much of an outdoors person but the last few years I've enjoyed the wildlife in my rural setting, especially the birds. I delighted in seeing two Blue Jays and a cardinal a couple of days ago. My heart was heavy with the horrific headlines and I believe God sent those birds to lift my spirits. even if only for a moment or two.

Though this was quite fascinating and educational it felt a bit like a school paper. There's nothing wrong with that at all, if your intention was educating others on birds or crows in particular you did an extraordinary job with it.

I fear it may be a tad weak on the topic end. I can see it in there whether it is the game that the birds hunt or if the birds seem to be playing games. This quarter there isn't as tight of a link for the topics so you can get by in being broader but next quarter the topics will be linked for the anthologies.

I truly enjoyed this piece and I found it full of information. Your descriptions in the beginning with the hawk swooping and diving was brilliant. I could almost see it against a brilliant blue sky. The quote at the end is new to me, but I think it will be one of my favorite quotes. Thank you so much for this glimpse into a world that has intrigued me. You left me with a thirst to go out and spot the crows and watch them. I may wait until it warms up a bit but I will be thinking of this piece the next time I hear the familiar caw, caw.