A BirdNote® Story: Crows can ID human faces

Crows Recognize Individual Human Faces Featuring University of Washington Professor John Marzluff

By Todd Peterson


To find out if a crow can recognize an individual human face, Professor John Marzluff of the University of Washington wore a mask while trapping, banding, and then releasing seven American Crows on campus. Later, when he walked through the campus wearing the mask, a big group of birds scolded and divebombed him. He thinks it’s a benefit to the birds’ survival to point out and recognize challenges in their environment.

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This story is being published with permission from BirdNote.


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