You've Heard of a Murder of Crows. How About a Crow Funeral? | Deep Look

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Kaeli Swift : Hi folks! I'm the scientist behind this research. I'm seeing a few questions come up repeatedly so let me take a minute to address them. 1) Yikes, why are the masks so creepy?! These masks were made in service to the original facial recognition study that took place a little over a decade ago at the UW. You can learn more about that study in the PBS 'Murder of Crows' special which is free to stream. When asking that original question of "do crows recognize threatening people" it was important that the masks were expressionless, since a happy or angry looking face might influence how they would respond (we now know it actually doesn't). It's very hard to find human-like expressionless masks though, so we had costume makers come in and take molds of volunteers' faces. What you're left with is something that basically looks like you cut someone's face off and are wearing it Silence of the Lambs style, which is kinda the point, but admittedly also very creepy to people! 2) Why did you need to wear masks at all? During the actual study I wasn't a mask wearer, I just recorded data. It was a volunteer that would don the mask and hold the crow, or return a week later wearing the familiar mask. But volunteers are fickle and I couldn't be guaranteed that the person available to help during the "funeral" presentation could come back the following week. By having people wear the masks though, it didn't matter who was helping me, I could keep the face the same. And based on the previous facial recognition study I knew that's really all that mattered. 3) How did we know they weren't just freaking out because the masks are creepy? I ran controls to verify this. Linda is one of ten different masks so it was easy to verify that wasn't what was going on. If you want to learn all the details of this study you can read it for free on my blog (corvidreseach . blog) You can also find me on twitter @ corvidresearch where I am always available to answer all your corvid questions. I also play a fun ID game on Wednesdays called #CrowOrNo. I'm glad so many of you enjoyed the video and I hope you look out for my new studies!

Kerry Li : So the next time you hear crows squawking in your backyard, you know what’s going on...maybe you’ll find a lady wearing a scary mask with a dead crow in her hand!!!

New Message : I raised a few ravens back in my zoo days, and they are scary smart. There is definitely 'somebody home' in there, if you know what I mean.

smetlogik : One of the smartest animals on the planet. Sweet vid!

America From Scratch : I'm no crow, but I would freak out too. That mask is terrifying! -Scratchy The Eagle

User Name : I witnessed a crow funeral, after one got zapped on the power line. It was very unnerving, as it started small but quickly grew to dozens or more and became very loud. Their sound actually got me out of my house to go see, whereupon I saw the dead crow and figured that's what the fuss was about. In the end it was a moving experience.

Nick Sloan : Personal Anecdote: A few years ago, one of the black cats in my apartment complex killed a crow and after that the crows recognized her and would attack her (and only her) whenever she went outside. It always astounded me that they knew the difference between her and the other cats. Even the other black ones.

A Bird Lover : Imagine someone just chilling at a park when they see some lady in a creepy mask with a dead crow go past and all the other crows gathering around like it's some sort of ritual

Khagan : when I found a crow with a broken leg on park I took him to vet in the way there were like 15-20 crows following me, even the people on the street realized that and warned me.

Maker's Muse : Awesome video! I witnessed something similar with ibis' where one had died in a lake and eels were starting to notice it. Other ibis' crowded the water's edge where it was and seemed genuinely disturbed. Animals are far more intelligent than most give them credit.

Cyn Loh : Okay but if I saw a lady dressed like a horror movie villain carrying a dead crow I would RUN

Me Again : Crows are by far my favorite animal, I always love when more people get exposed to how amazing and intelligent these beautiful birds are. Thank you, Deep Look, for your consistent high quality content.

Bizzel Boem : I get why she used a mask, But why in the world THAT MASK. If I saw her I would scream aswell

Ammar Khan : I always wanted a video of crows They always amaze me, now I can show other why I like crows.

Darcey Mussey : When one of my pigeons died, her mate was very upset. He wouldn't leave her side as she was lying on the floor. He kept walking around and around her, looking at her from all angles. After I moved her, he was still wandering the area looking for her. They can be very intelligent but they are also prey animals, so in the wild they are too wary to linger in one spot and allow themselves to be distracted for long.

Golden Queen : First crow was like. “Ay fam, dis boi be dead!!!!” Other crows “Oh S***!!!!” That’s what I got out of this video. XD

GiggitySam Entz : The creepy music does make the mask even scarier XD Even when it's playing at the same time as the happy curious music ha ha ha !

Denise Thasder : At a crow funeral, the birds are buried in CAW-ffins

Hark : Missed apes on the list of animals that react to death. Saddest doc I ever saw was one where a chimpanzee starved itself to death sitting near the place where its daughter died. (I maybe be getting some of the details wrong. It's been 10+ years and I can't recall the name.

Some Random Guy : I'd associate her with danger to tbh

Thomas Miller : I just imagined being a child at the park wandering away against my mom’s wishes and crossing paths with Ms. Leatherface carrying a dead crow.

Ludo : Well this was good up until you claimed animals except crows and dolphins don't notice other dead group or species members. Not true, there are lots of animals that have shown 'mourning rituals'. Also just because pigeons don't 'show' that they notice to you doesn't mean that they haven't noticed and taken the information in. Just means we don't know how they process that information yet. Lets stop downplaying animals because we don't know the right questions yet. It's like the horrible results of the mirror test all over again. Stop asking anthropocentric questions of other beings with different bodies and different survival strategies.

Josh_Le_GamerYT : Lets be honest, who wouldn't be freaked out by that creepy AF mask. It looks like she skinned another man and wore it.

Johnnyonnyful : Thanks for letting me to be able to support you!

Honest Asian Guy : The word 'murder' makes the crow group sound cooler/darker than they really are. Although I am a big fan of the movie 'The Crow' starring Brandon Lee, a 90s comic book film classic.

1D_Inc : Patreon? Finally!

geidi rodriguez : Mind blown 🤯

demon794 : The mask genuinely freaked me out when it first came up.

Mark : I love Crows, they are my favourite animal.

YallGotAnyCaps : Kaeli's just a horror film addict. She loves to cause terror among those poor birds.

MonoTrom : I try to imagine what people thought seeing her wear that mask and walking around with a dead crow...

Cyril Gomez : if I was a crow and saw that creepy mask lady ,I would summon the entire world I can't unsee it

CountMattarz : That is actually really interesting. I have been observing the crows that hang around my parents' yard. A few months ago one of them broke it's wing, and it's group stayed to protect him and bring him food for about a month before the majority of the group left, aside from 1-2 who stayed behind to continue protecting the injured one. I noticed that when they would come up to take some of the duck food, one of the healthy ones would sit on a fence post and make a loud noise, then the injured one would start coming out of it's hiding place while the second healthy one would fly in circles above.

Staffs For Entertainment : They are smart. A few years ago I have killed a crow. Unfortunately they knew it was me and then they gave me too much trouble for months. Trust me guy's never kill a crow.

Tran Huu Dang : That 's so weird, this is the first time I know about it. Crows seem like less scary after watching this video. Thank Deep Look.

Da Dragon Durp : Corvids will never cease to fascinate me

Ryan Allen : Great, now I'll be haunted by a masked woman carrying a dead crow in my nightmares from now on... she looks like the female version of leatherface in that thing holy Christ.

Liam : Since ravens belong to the same family as crows do they also perform the "funeral" ?

Heba Zamiruddin : I got more scared than the crows when I saw the lady with the mask

I O : I wonder if any of bird species do this? Is is JUST crows that do? What about other birds in the Corvidae family, such as Ravens or Magpies? Also, could I get a realistic (but fake) dead crow to put near my garden to keep them out?

LameWalkThroughs : That was the most disturbing horror film I've seen in a long long time.

syvhne : Wonderful.... Please support deeplook via Patreon so they can continue creatings precious gems like this one.

Ludo : Please do another video on pigeons. That 'experiment' was a bit unfair. Now people will carry on with the crows are special and other birds are stupid myths. Different birds have different social structures and this will impact the reaction. They also process information differently. There are lots of reasons that an animal may appear to not react. It's as biased as the mirror test. There is a huge body of research into pigeon cognition that would make a great video. Pigeons have excellent visual recognition, they can recognise human faces for many years. They understand abstract concepts such as water in a picture being the same as water outside. This is primate level intelligence. They have been shown to have higher cogntion comparable to primates: They can recognise words with one pigeon recognising 58 separate words. They can understand abstract concepts such as space and time despite having no neo cortex. They can learn maths as well as monkeys: Pigeons saved hundreds of lives during World Wars. One pigeon was so successful and kept going despite numerous injuries that she was awarded the Crox de Guerre medal for saving an encircled battalion. Her body resides in the Smithsonian Institute on display. Pigeons can use landmarks and junctions to navigate, creating a 'road map' using our roads and highways. They are one of the only non-mammals to pass the mirror self recognition test. (Although I find that test unfair for animals that might not use vision for recognition or not show recogntion in a way we understand) They mate for life and are amazing parents to their chicks. They can multi-task quicker than humans.

Casimir III : Could be like the wailing that can accompany a funeral in some cultures. Ancient societies would even pay people to wail, the more you had the more significant of a person the recently deceased was.

Rex Nemorensis : Crows: _DECEIVER! BETRAYER! BEGONE FROM OUR DOMAIN!_ Pigeons: _Hey look, Jerry died._

Nethaniel Salas : People always think crows are so morbid and just so depressing to like ,but really they're just smart fascinating birds that work together with others to help one another.

Aaron Xiong : I've seen some of your ads Deep Look..

Nick of All Trades : Huh. A Swift Counting Crows.

ARMA3 BOI : I want want an American crow as a pet cause their big and a sign of death

You take the moon and you take the sun! : What's interesting is that they were able to describe the mask to the other crows so that they all knew it was dangerous.