Snowbirding or Crowboarding?

Let’s join the others by the fire in the lodge, sip a hot toddy and watch who’s outside on the slopes today. Just caws:

Crowabunga, penelopakristi!



  1. This is very cool. Not only is it tool use– and the bird takes the tool when s/he leaves– but it’s not for getting food, just for fun.

    Wonder how long it will take the crow to figure out avoiding the bare patches of roof.

  2. Just a prime example how all animals need stimulation / toy enrichment to be happy!!!!

  3. Kallisto73 says:

    This is totally fascinating: tool-use and playing/fun.
    I have seen everything now.
    It can hardly get any better.

  4. Crows are so awesome! I knew they used tools and are wicked smart at solving problems (and outsmarting humans who thought they had outsmarted the crows…), but this display of joie de vivre… kills moi!

    I think it’s crowtubing btw.

  5. Guinea Peeg Lover says:

    This defInitely beats the intelligence level of any crow in my neighborhood. One time, one of them landed in my yard and stood there for about five minutes with its tongue hanging out of its beak.

  6. I love crows and ravens, they are jokers with wings,

  7. +1

  8. Well, he did realize the one side of the roof didn’t work, and went back to his original side. (He was probably taking his little donut to another house where the snow hadn’t melted yet!)

  9. We used to have a galvanized bucket on the back deck. The crows would roll rocks and pebbles down the roof to try to drop them in the bucket. If they made it, they would laugh and laugh. They especially loved the game when there was water in the bucket b/c when the sun hit is just right, it sparkled. Unfortunately, that was usually just about at sunrise….

  10. Hey- I stand around with my tongue out all the time. what are you saying?

  11. Mary (the first) says:

    Just what I thought too, he’s looking for a better spot! And (as Rhea said) taking the toy with him!

  12. Mary (the first) says:

    This is really amazing. I don’t even know what to say. Amazing!!

  13. Never under-estimate the intelligence of those without opposable thumbs! They will soon be our overlords!!!

  14. With crows, there’s no Tosh.0-worthy wipeouts where sensitive body parts are smashed against concrete, metal, and earth. They can just spread their wings and fly away majestically. Not fair!

    [shake tiny monkey fist toward sky]

  15. Um, you’re a monkey? What kind?

  16. Gah…in moderation…..
    ::Looking around::
    Did no one bring tasty treats???
    What? There was only one sugar donut and the crow took it??
    I always miss out on the good stuff

  17. Crows haz tongues????

    video needs to be overdubbed with music. coughing offscreen child, not cute, not cute at all. kinda eewwwwww.

  18. Guinea Peeg Lover says:

    Yes, crows have tongues. See?


  19. Crows and ravens are so awesomely smart and love to play. I put out treats for them all winter – can’t in warm weather because of the bears – and they can recognize me! When they see me come out the door with that bucket in my hand the ones standing guard put out the caw to summon the others to breakfast 😉
    I’ve seen them play kick the can in my driveway. They love shiny things, and a small piece of foil – especially the light stuff from cigarette packs – is immediately pounced on to carry home to the nest 😉

  20. Flutterby says:

    Edible plaything – how handy!

  21. What was that donut thingy? Not really a donut, is it? And in that case. . .giant diaphragm?

  22. 1. Fascinating article about intelligence of crows.
    2. Riveting show about same subject. Saw this when it aired last fall. Amazing!

  23. The Xgames called. Corporate sponsors are already lining up. Oh, and shaun white wants a crossover commercial.

  24. WOW. This clip and these comments make me almost stop hating crows (which I do). I see them as bullies who think they rule the school. And I hate how they bully hawks! But this is truly funny and sweet.

  25. Meriweather says:

    Groups of crows are not an unruly mob– they are a family group, working hard with one another to have a good life. They flock together in bare trees in the winter, safe from owls, and the parents will look over their child’s potential mate or make introductions. They can recognize faces and associate a person with the car they drive (as one researcher who had to take fledglings out of the nest to band them found out– they would shriek alarm at his car because THE KID GRABBER WAS COMING.) Crows are great. 🙂

  26. @slywlf – where do you live hon – are there any vacancies, I love those birds and once a while ago had a frequent visitor – a Crow – I always had food for him

  27. All birds have little tongues! 🙂

  28. They are very intelligent little birdies! 🙂

  29. Bookender says:

    And here we have the proof that humans aren’t the only ones doing stuff just because it’s fun. :p

  30. A hairless one, I believe …

  31. A fascinating book, When Elephants Weep, has stories about various animals playing. This could be another chapter! Humans are not the only ones that do things just for joy.

  32. I am this guy of course:

    Don’t know about others, but ‘things that fly” have that effect on me: all my feelings of superiority about being a human disappears. I feel low, heavy, earth-bound. Complete freedom of movement in the physical world I’ve been born to inhabit, is that too much to ask? [shake fist again]

  33. Looks like this guy is actually a Jackdaw, a relative of the crow.

    Cool markings!

  34. ha! i saw this video yesterday, and i just have to say you encapsulated exactly what i wanted to say. crowtubing indeed! 😀

  35. mairsydoats says:

    I met a Gentleman Crow once, he was a resident and ambassador at a rehabbing museum (The Lindsay Museum in Walnut Creek, Ca). He took a shine to me for some reason, and mimicked my laugh to the point of getting me in trouble. (My teacher thought I bailed on my school group to visit with him.) The docent said he’d never heard him laugh, so I must assume he had some nefarious plan to get me into detention.

    Interestingly enough, when I visited several years later, without my school group, he recognized my voice, and began laughing *before I even entered his room*. Brilliant, these guys…frighteningly so. Overlords, indeed!

  36. Daurian Jackdaw. Awesome critter!

  37. It’s possible it’s a jackdaw, but my money is on it being a hooded crow (Corvus cornix):

    I have owned several species of crows, including jackdaws, for years, and from my observations of them in both captive and wild situations, not only are they tool users, they also choose and hoard favorite toys for use when they feel like it.
    They rotate out their toys themselves, and often will fixate on one toy for many days.

    Crows as pets are c-awsome, but they MUST have a very large enclosure, lots of toys and stimulation, lots of attention and interaction, and are messy, loud, and destructive.
    So unless you want a feathered four year old who is capable of noise and mess far in excess of human toddlers, and never grows up, leave them to people who have more time and energy for that.

  38. I’m not saying they’re stupid; I’m saying I don’t like them. Big difference.

  39. Fascinating, indeed! I had seen this on the BBC: crows using cross-walk and cars as complex nutcracker system. Absolutely amazing. I don’t remember if it was in the same episode, but definitely narrated by Atenborough was another clip of crows playing in the snow, just because. You know… Because it’s fun! Amazing creatures!

  40. Have you seen the video of the crow that adopted the kitten and stuffed worms in it’s mouf?

  41. 15 (?) years ago there was an excellent (soft)bound book with a silver cover about Crows. My favourite part was the photos of them skiing–or sliding down the snow embankments. It was both for pleasure, & as the naturalists said–to clean their feathers. If you like Corvidae, join ASCAR (the American Society of Crows & Ravens)–a group of Academics, fans, friends, (etc), & with a newsletter with tongue in cheek.

  42. tobesograteful says:

    Now that is one smart bird, ravens/crows are VERY smart!! 🙂