Are ravens and crows alike

Unloved birds - nobody likes crows and ravens - wrongly

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Crows and ravens polarize. The one mystical being, the other hate object. Why is that?

Much is said of crows and ravens. Some of this has long since been refuted. But the suspicion remains. "Ravens: black, clever and playful, the link will open in a new window" is the title of a brochure from the Sempach ornithological station. We spoke to Christoph Vogel, who is responsible for environmental education in Sempach.

SRF: What is it that makes the crow so fascinating for you?

Christoph Vogel: If you manage to wipe away your prejudices and watch the crows for a long time, you notice that they can do more than just eat bread and meat. They show intense social behavior and high cognitive performance.

Primitive peoples have already seen that corvids have something special about them.

In stories and fairy tales, the crow is a constant companion of witches and wizards. Is that doing the bird an injustice?

The accompaniment of witches has a meaning in literature. We don't have to go back too far. Otfried Preussler, for example, has the "Little Witch" and her raven Abraxas. In this children's book he was a clever guy, a representative of intelligence, of knowledge.

If we look back to pre-Christian times, indigenous peoples have already seen that corvids have something special about them. You have ascribed a divine character to this species of bird.

Especially in cities or densely populated places, ravens are met with suspicion. Why do the birds feel so comfortable in cities and settlements of all places?

This has to do with the fact that the original habitat of the carrion crow and the magpie was so restricted by the intensification of agriculture that these adaptive and adaptive birds have discovered more advantages than disadvantages in the settlement area.

What are the problems or conflicts you encounter at your ornithological station?

In addition to the noise of a rook colony and the defecation of benches, sidewalks and cars, it is above all the wrong opinion that carrons and magpies in particular are responsible for the decline in small bird species. This is proven nonsense.

They are nest robbers. The corvids are very, very resentful of this.

But they are considered to be nest robbers.

They are nest robbers. A small part of the food that corvids carry into the nest consists of eggs and young songbirds. The young corvids simply have to be raised on animal protein. Incidentally, as are the common redstart, sparrow, blackbird and song thrush. These beautiful little birds do exactly the same.

What you see in corvids is that they feed on songbirds that we love and that wake us up in the morning with their beautiful singing.

The corvids are very, very resentful of this. In doing so, they simply exercise a behavior that nature has assigned them. They can't do anything else. People are very partial and inconsistent in considering and evaluating these processes.

How should people in cities or densely populated areas encounter these corvids?

The first remedy against these prejudices would be to acquire a knowledge of the real biology and behavioral repertoire of these birds. If you know why they are so loud and why they do this and that, tolerance increases.

Interview conducted by Vanda Dürring.

duev / kasf

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