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Birdchick Blog: Cats & Birds Living Together--We're Talkin' Mass Hysteria Here!

Friday, December 07, 2007

Cats & Birds Living Together--We're Talkin' Mass Hysteria Here!

Calling all bird behavior experts!

This video of a crow and kitten hanging out together--even the crow feeding the kitten showed up on Cute Overload. What is going on here? Confused crow? Are birds trying to reach a peace agreement to keep cats from killing them at feeders? Have crows become so smart that they have decided to attempt to join forces with cats to secure their place high on the food chain? Are crows trying to set a better example for Jim Stevenson? Or is this just some weird event that can never be fully explained or understood?


Anonymous Jared said...

Don't cross the streams!

12/07/2007 2:18 PM  
Blogger Jess said...

Alan Thicke for the win!

I can see that a dumped kitten might attach itself to the first vaguely parent-shaped thing it sees. I'm wondering if it's possible, though, that somewhere along the line the crow learned to hang around stray cats-- the rationale being that where there are strays, there might also be food. It doesn't explain the maternal behavior, but it might explain why a crow would feel inclined to approach a cat in the first place.

I'd also be interested to know how many takes they did for the reaction shot. "A crow and a kitten?! A crow and a kitten?! A crow and a kitten?!" Marvellous. :D

12/07/2007 2:31 PM  
Anonymous Masklyn Arathorn said...

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12/07/2007 5:14 PM  
Blogger Aaron said...

That is awesome.

12/07/2007 9:54 PM  
Blogger cyberthrush said...

this is just incredible! I'd really like to see someone like Bernd Heinrich, or some other corvid expert, weigh in on it -- it's hard for me to imagine any explanation that accounts for it very well.

12/08/2007 6:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh I have heard of this a few years ago. I think it took place in 97, never did find out what happened to the kitten. Maybe it was a crow who lost it's nest that year, who knows ? Weirder adoptions have taken place. Gotta love animal planet.

12/08/2007 6:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oops, forgot to post this in the first one.
Cats will imprint on other animals. I have heard of cats, raised with rabbits, or even rats from kittenhood or so doing quite well. Playing and accepting as part of their pride or pack. Heck kittens will even imprint on hens, that will sit on them. Or horses, I have one cat here who is imprinted on the dog as a buddy. Raise them young enough with bird, and even a cat will think a cockatiel is family, or a rabbit. Though I doubt Cinnamon would take to be kneading at her age. Oh it can be very funny seeing a cat knead a dog. And the dog looking like the cat has gone mad. Given time even your mother's cats could come to accept Cinnamon. Though I doubt they ever groom her. Younger kittens yes.
That's why Mr. Neil is having problems with Cabal and the cats. Acourse Cabal hopefully doesn't think of the cats as prey. Any younger cats that come into his household, might go on to accept Cabal and you might even one day see dog/cat cuddling. Older ones not so much, at best they will one day share a bed or couch together, or even touch noses. But my older cat took five years or so before he did that too. And Morgan is only twice the size of the cats. Instead of being five or six times their size.
Though I am sure by know Cabal, has hopefully settled down with the cats, and their is some kind of truce. Though I am sure the cats have made their anger quite well known by leaving liquid and soild "presents" on things.
I am sure it is funny to see Cabal, big dog that he is play bow to a cat.

12/08/2007 6:48 AM  
Blogger Laura Erickson said...

I'd be interested in knowing where this took place, but I agree with a previous post that it's quite possible the crow was an adult who lost its own nestlings and mate--that's why I wonder where--was it after West Nile Virus hit? If the kitten was hungry and mewing, its red mouth would be visible, and baby crows do have red mouth linings. This is certainly no stranger than the case of the cardinal who fed goldfish for a few weeks one summer. You can read about that here:

12/08/2007 5:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Huh...thanks Laura. Intresting story about the cardinal feeding fish. I heard of a duck, I think a domestic duck feeding large goldfish.

12/09/2007 4:02 AM  

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