It feels great when we are kind to others, especially animals. They become truly grateful to us and would love us to bits if we are kind to them. It’s quite a common sight in the park to see adults and children spreading grain and bird food in front of them and watching a flock of birds swoop down for a heavy lunch. It’s a sight to watch. We don’t really expect anything in return – plus, we are not that consistent in feeding them. But wouldn’t it be wonderful if you just got unexpected gifts from crows you fed? It’s not actually an impossible want – Gabi Mann, an 8-year-old girl from Seattle, Washington is a living example.
It started as an accident
It was not a conscious choice at first. Gabi used to drop a lot of food as she walked and the crows followed the trail left by her. She noticed the hungry birds and her childish love for animals and kindness made her drop food deliberately as she walked to the bus stop along with her brother. The intelligent crows quickly learned who Gabi was and they would wait every day till her school bus came down and she got off it. Now, Lisa, mother of Gabi, saw that more than half of the food that Gabi and his brother took was being fed to the crows – she didn’t mind though.
When mom joined in
Soon, the family transformed and changed their view about crows. Her mother participated in this daily food distribution session in 2013 and to the crows’ delight, they had their personal restaurant. Gabi’s mother and Gabi filled their backyard birdbath with clean water every day and distributed dog food and peanuts to the crow’s banquet. It became a routine – they never a missed a day of service. And that’s when the gifts started arriving!
The gifts from crows
According to John Marzluff, a professor of wildlife science at the University of Washington, crows and humans can form a good bond if we consistently reward them. While giving gifts is a rare thing, it is totally possible. Gabi got a first-hand experience of it. Her aerial friends brought her buttons, Lego pieces, hooks, and bottle caps. Her favourite – a pearl coloured heart! Gabi believes it is the crows’ way of showing love. Not only that – Gabi has also received a rare gift – a screw. It made her so happy! Crows generally don’t carry screws, unless they are building a house, and for Gabi, that gift is priceless.
According to Marzluff, crows are not always keen on bringing the best gifts, they might even bring gory stuff that is special to them. One of their special presents is a bloody dead bird – a traumatic sight for any child. Thankfully, Lisa is there to protect Gabi from it. They have had their fair share of ‘bad’ gifts. Lisa remembers chucking a rotten crab claw away. But that doesn’t matter – the crows are decent enough to make it up to her.
Lisa has her favourite gift too – her retrieved camera lens cap. She dropped it in an alleyway when she was shooting the images of a bald eagle. She had no idea, but the crows were keeping an eye. She found it at the edge of the crows’ favourite birdbath. Was it the crows? The bird cam recorded it all – a crow flying towards the birdbath with it, washing it thoroughly, and keeping the clean lens cap for Lisa. A perfect gift for both the safety of the camera and Lisa – she got her reward for kindness.
Gabi’s rewards are not accidental – it is a result of her kindness. In a world where we believe kindness is not rewarded, Gabi stands out as an example. Let’s be kind to each other and to animals – only then can we be rewarded in ways we cannot really imagine!
Image Credits: BBC