Tuesday, March 17, 2015


By Luting Yao
28 Feb 2015

Crows are social animals who like to live with a large number of groups. Whenever you go in Western Washington, especially at night, you can easily see a group of crows flying over your head. The most impressive thing in my mind was the first day I went to the University of Washington Bothell. I was so surprised that I saw several crows walking on the road eating something. When the sky turned dark, I heard loudly voices of crows from far away. At first, I was so scared because I used to be afraid of crows.
I watched a lot of movies about crows, which show that crows are the evil symbols and something bad. However, after taking a class ”All things…crow”, I changed my mind and had some other new thoughts about crows. During that time, I tried to do a lot of readings and found the sources about crows. Also, I always went to UWB to find some time to observe them. There is something very interesting and weird, which arouses my attention. I get my question now: Why do crows roost on the UWB campus? Why do they always stay together with their groups? There are many reliable and valid evidences that I found on University of Washington Bothell official website. In “Roost Of Crows On UW Bothell Campus”, Marzluff said: “the UW Bothell campus is an ideal environment for crows to roost.” One day at around 4:30pm, I went to the school’s parking lot and I saw thousands of crows flying toward campus. Finally, they landed on the trees beside or on the roof of campus. I made some guesses about why they come here and why they choose to land on the roost of campus and why they tend to stay together with a big group.
Firstly, in my opinion, they fly towards the campus because they had already considered the roofs of campus are enough space for them to land and get together. On one hand, they might come from a far place; thus, they need to have a rest on the roof. On the other hand, it is also a good opportunity to wait for some other group members to aggregate.

Secondly, the places for them to sleep are near from UWB. Thus, they can land on the roof for a while and then they just need to spend a little bit time to arrive at sleeping places. Thirdly, they may be protecting themselves and their families from predators. Some animals like to go out to find foods to eat at night, especially owls, who are crows’ biggest predators in the world. According to Dr. Kevin J. McGowan, “Crows are most afraid of large owls, and sleeping with a bunch of other crows could afford some protection for an individual crow.” Thus, In order to be safe, they like to stay together and if something dangerous happens, they can easily find and tell each other to run because they have more eyes to look at when they are together.
Besides of the aspects above, I think that crows like to land on the UWB’s roofs because they can recognize that the people there are all students. I read about several articles before, they talked many things about crows can remember people’s faces and recognize the dangerous things. Thus, I speculate that crows have already known that students are not hunters, who will not hurt them. Hence, they are safer than landing on other places such as cities and etc. Marzluff points out his opinion that crows like to stay with a big number group having some other purposes. They can have more chances to search for mates and then they might find a new place to eat and they will follow groups next day.
Crows are smart, funny and friendly. They don't have a special structure in their big group. They just get together, play together and sleep together for many interesting reasons. As for me, I do enjoy doing researches and my feelings about crows from scared to confuse to now enjoying them. J

I am from beautiful Xinjiang, China. I am studying the business major in the University of Washington Bothell. After graduation, I plan to find a job that related to my major in the United States in order to acquire more experiences. Then, I decided to pursue my Master’s degree focusing on accounting. In my spare time, I like dancing to the music and listening to the pop music. I am enjoying talking with people and making friends. I would like to thank my parents for their support. They encourage me to go aboard to get better education in the United States and enlarge my eyes. I cherish this opportunity and I will try my best to be an excellent person to contribute to the society.

Works Cited:

Shawn, Cross. 2012. A Murderous Crow. Deviant Art, [internet]. [cited 25 Feb
2015]. Available from: http://shawncoss.deviantart.com/art/A-Murderous-Crow-316753586
Soya, Angela. 2013. Owl, Hawk And Crow Spirit Animals. Worldpress. [internet]. [cited 2 March, 2015]. Available from: http://thriveonnews.com/2013/03/23/owl-hawk-crow-spirit-animals/

Trujillo, Joshua. 2013. Crows converge on UW, Bothell campus. Seattlepi.com. [internet]. [cited 2 March, 2015]. Available from: http://blog.seattlepi.com/thebigblog/2013/03/01/crows-converge-at-uw-campus/#10243101=0

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