Many people love birds in their garden, but it is usually rare for that affection to be reciprocated. However, one young girl in Seattle has her love reciprocated in the most unusual ways.
Eight-year-old Gabi Mann feeds the crows in her a relationship which began in 2011 accidentally when she was four years old. This happened because she was prone to dropping food and at times when she got out of their car, a chicken nugget would fall off her lap. Immediately a crow would rush and recover it. Soon, these crows were watching out for her, hoping to get another bite.
When she got older, she continued feeding them for their attention, by sharing with them the packed lunch she had on as she went to the bus stop. Soon, the crows were waiting for her bus hoping for another feeding session.
In the year 2013, Gabi and her mother Lisa started giving the crows food as a daily ritual. Every morning, they would fill the backyard birdbath with water and then cover the bird-feeder platforms with peanuts. It was after this routine that the gifts started appearing.
The crows would first clear the peanuts in the bird-feeder and then leave shiny trinkets on the empty tray. These gifts which appeared sporadically would include a hinge, an earring, a polished rock, lego pieces, paper clips, beads, pieces of foam and buttons. Her favorite gift of all is a pearl colored heart which showed her how much the crows loved her. Whatever the crows found shiny and small enough to fit in their mouths would be brought.
A gift that Gabi takes as her third favorite gift is a screw, because it is hard to see a crow carrying around a screw unless the crow is building a house. Gabi’s mother, Lisa has a favorite treasure gifted by the crows which was her camera lens cap which she lost in an alley near her home while taking photos of a bald eagle. However before she could go out and look for it, she found it on the edge of the birdbath.
Lisa decided to confirm if this came from the crows by by checking the bird cam where she saw the crow bringing it into the yard.
At one time the gift was a tiny piece of metal that had the word “best” printed on it, a miniature silver ball, there is also a a pearl colored heart which is her most-prized present and shows her how much they love her. The gifts are kept in specially labeled bags that are tucked safely inside a bead storage box. This is because these are her most treasured possessions. Her labels are therefore detailed and each of her gift items are individually categorized and wrapped.
Gabi has also received some gifts that are disgusting like a rotting crab claw which her mother had to throw away.
Gabi discovered that to form bonds with the crows she had to be consistent in rewarding them. The crows communicated by how close they walked, and also where they sat. They also learnt their feeder’s posture and patterns.
More info: BBC
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