Solitary crow in a tree

A Secret Wish: In My Next Life I Want to Be a Crow

Crows have portal energy. If there were an animal that could transcend realms and move between our world and the underworld (or over-world…or, wherever the other worlds are…) it would be crows.

They just have this profound and haunting presence that speaks to me of mystery and the unknown.

Why Do I Love Crows So Much?

It’s likely not about their beautiful voice or attractive looks, but I do admire their tenacity and their intelligence. Crows are one of the most intelligent species of birds out there. They can solve complicated, multi-step problems, use tools, and demonstrate roughly the same mental capabilities as a preschooler.

I’m impressed by their ability to ubiquitously live almost everywhere and in every weather condition. You’ll see crows sitting nonchalantly up in trees covered in ice or flying peacefully through the snowflakes in the midst of blizzards.

Did you know that during the winter months crows change the composition of the blood circulating through their extremities and switch out their red platelets with what is essentially biological antifreeze? That’s how they survive in snowy climates without getting frostbite!

I found out that there are online crow fan groups and crow-living societies (some of which I will soon be joining) such as this facebook group and this one.

Crow Talk

I like how crows make no attempt at quieting their loud raspy call or making it more beautiful. Other songbirds craft little melodies, pleasing to the ear, but crows just blare it out for all to hear-no filter.

This is perhaps not commonly known, but did you know they can learn to mimic human language just as easily as parrots can? How cool is that?

Imagine if we used the word crowed instead of parroted to mean imitating others? Right now, ‘crowed’ means “to make a sound expressing a feeling of happiness or triumph.”

Crow Pets

Here in the U.S., owning a domestic species of crow as a pet is illegal so you typically won’t hear someone bragging about their talking pet crow!

I’ll be honest, sometimes I fantasize about having one as a pet, but I would not keep it in a cage. I’m just not sure about caging birds. But maybe I could make a crow friend someday and teach it how to talk. Then it could still live wild and be free to fly off whenever it wanted which feels better to me.

I found out that there are actually non-native species of crows that are legal to own here in the U.S., such as certain ones from Africa. But just like any exotic pet there are many considerations, including the hefty cost of purchasing one from a reputable breeder and getting it imported.

Not to mention, crows-similar to parrots, can live for decades-and they require a lot of daily care just like a child, so taking on such a long-term commitment needs to be taken very seriously. (Just in case anyone is serious thinking about getting a crow pet.)

My Animal Guide

Crows have been somewhat of an animal guide for me. That’s why it isn’t all that surprising that crows have been speaking to me lately (and I mean with their presence not with their words). They just keep showing up at key moments, startling me with their sudden appearance.

Have you ever had an animal that keeps showing up every time you’re thinking a certain way, sort of as kind of a symbol to you? They keep showing up at certain points in your life, particularly when you need guidance and direction? That’s what crows have been for me for quite a long time.

Sometimes when I’m having a certain thought or idea, suddenly one is there-instantly-as if it portaled in from another world to confirm that I am thinking along the right lines. They can be like an exclamation point highlighting whatever just happened.

I will be walking along and thinking and no sooner do I have an important idea, when—bam—there will be a crow flying right over my head so close it seems I could reach up and touch it, or fluttering up and away from a nearby location, startling me.

I think of them as messengers coming to me from the other side of the universe saying “Yes, Sarah! You’ve got the right idea!”

Crow Gatherings

Sometimes crows gather in a big group called a “murder,” that’s the collective name for a group of crows, which is more of a poetic than scientific term, but I like thinking of them all getting together to discuss a murder. And surprisingly, this isn’t far off.

Crows are very social animals. They frequently get together to learn and share information with each other, like a crow meeting. But another reason they gather is to hold what could basically be described as funerals for their dead. They grieve together and process the manner in which their fellow crow died and they have been known take retribution upon the perpetrator, attacking them as a mob.

Think of that–getting mobbed by angry crows who are avenging a dead friend or relative.

Lesson learned: Don’t mess with crows!

At night they will gather in groups and sleep in roosts like one big, happy family. Even if they’ve been out miles away from the roost during the day, they always come home at night to sleep with their tribe.

Crows mate for life typically and I found out sometimes crow meetings are simply single crows getting together to mingle and scope out potential mates. Kind of like a singles bar, I guess.

My Secret Wish

And these are just some the reasons why in my next life I want to be a crow. I find them fascinating and compelling, it’s almost as if a force of magnetism exists between us. Maybe I’ve already been a crow in a past life! Who knows?

But how fun would it be to sleep in a big roost with other crows and go out flying around to hunt for food during the day? And attend “murder” meetings to help avenge the death of my loved ones?

Then in the winter I’d get that antifreeze blood flowing through my veins so my feet won’t freeze and I could walk around in the snow without shoes.

But you know what? Whether I get to be a crow someday or have one as a pet or friend or not, I’m just grateful they exist. Yes I know they can be pests, they get into our trash and make messes. Their loud cawing may grate on our nerves at times too, but there is something about their scrappy persistence that appeals to me. I like their gothic vibe, their shrill tenacity. Crows simply have an unapologetic, bold presence that I appreciate.

by Sarah Caton

Photos on Pixabay by:
Yuri_B and
Rod Cleasby

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