We often underestimate the intelligence of fellow animals on this planet, but this story will drop your jaw. Eight-year-old Gabi Mann from Seattle, Washington has been feeding crows from her family garden for more than four years now, and in return, they bring her presents – including a camera lens cap that she dropped while out walking one day – her most precious gift of hundreds so far.
Other gifts Gabi has received from the crows include a piece of metal stamped, “best” on it, buttons, bones, earrings, polished rocks, and other little trinkets.
She began feeding the crows seed from her back patio when she returned home from school each day. This was only after she noticed she had been feeding them by accident, dropping crumbs from food she was eating herself, and noticing them gobble up the remains.
Gabi began giving the crows food scraps with her brother, while traversing to and from school. Once the routine had been established, Gabi started getting gifts from the crows. They would leave them on her patio, and in the case of her lost camera lens, it was sitting on the bird bath one day.
Her family became interested and started cataloging the gifts the crows were bringing her. All things shiny and small that can fit in a crow’s caw have been gifted to Gabi to thank her for her food offerings. However, she has also received dead baby birds, and other gory gifts that she likes less, but is curious about just the same.
Her family knows it was indeed the crows that brought her the camera lens because they installed a bird cam, and checked the footage to corroborate Gabi’s story. Gabi’s mother, Lisa says, “You can see it [crow] bringing it into the yard. Walks it to the birdbath and actually spends time rinsing this lens cap.”
John Marzluff, professor of wildlife science at the University of Washington advises that Gabi has been the perfect steward for building a relationship with these highly intelligent birds.
“If you want to form a bond with a crow, be consistent in rewarding them, he says.
Gabi has endeared herself to these crows, but we shouldn’t be so surprised at their behavior. More than 30 million fly around the U.S., and some studies suggest that they are as smart as kids or small monkeys.
“I always call them flying monkeys,” Marzluff says. “I think they’re a very small flying monkey. “Neurally, mentally, cognitively, they’re a flying monkey.”
Their brains are only the size of a human thumb, but their cognitive abilities are amazing.