A wild crow that befriended a teacher in her own terrace now visits her regularly, enjoying treats, puzzles, and games of increasing complexity laid out by his human friend. The intelligent bird loves his visits so much that he even brings his family along with him.
German native Alexandra Rösch, 53, lives on the outskirts of Berlin. A male hooded crow, Kräri has been visiting her with his female partner, Kruu, for about five years now.
"He found me, so to speak," Alexandra told The Epoch Times. "He has a curious, brave, and funny personality. He can be mischievous, and is a loyal friend to me."
Alexandra explained that the visits started when she laid out peanuts on the terrace during the winter and a large group of crows and jays came by. However, as time passed by, she noticed that there were only two crows that visited her daily and sat on the tree behind her house, watching her.
The teacher, who is also a nature mentor, soon noticed that Kräri had a penchant for games and thus she began hiding treats to make their meetings more entertaining.
"I wanted to see what would happen, how he would react," she said. "I found his reactions interesting, especially with things he didn’t know. For example, he would jump back and forth when approaching a strange thing, but he never gave up. That impressed me."
To date, Kräri nearly always wins his treat.
"Sometimes it takes a little longer," Alexandra said; "he loses his nerve and walks away, but comes back after a while. If it doesn't work and he is frustrated, he sometimes grabs the whole thing and flies away with it, so I have to be careful what I offer him."
In 2018, Kräri and Kruu had four young fledglings and soon brought them to visit Alexandra's terrace. She then took pity on the hungry brood and began feeding them all. Today, fledgling Kami still visits with his parents several times a day, yet stern father Kräri remains at the top of the pecking order.
Alexandra feeds the trio a mixture of eggs, mealworms, fruit, peanuts, meat, fish, food scraps, and different types of wet and dry cat food most mornings or afternoons. On weekends, she watches her feathered friends foraging or simply hanging out on her terrace.
At first, she wrapped small pieces of food in paper or hid them on the terrace, graduating to placing peanuts in small jars of water with lids and other obstacles on top. When Kräri mastered them all, Alexandra set up shell games and intelligence games designed for dogs and cats.
Kruu and Kami sometimes explore the treats and puzzles too and are likewise caught on camera.
"I wanted to share them with people who find these birds as fascinating as I do," Alexandra told The Epoch Times. "I get emails from people all over the world telling me about their experiences with crows, and sending photos; people have connected with the personalities of Kräri and his family members and enjoy watching them."
Alexandra claims she knew little about crows before meeting her feathered friends. Today, she reveres the playful, social creatures for their wits and smarts, and their amazing ability to adapt.
"The family is part of a wider social structure; they have a complex communication system of sounds and demonstrative movements of body and feathers," she observed. "They can form interspecies relationships of all kinds, and the relationships they form last a lifetime."
Meanwhile, Alexandra has also learned that crow pairs share a loving bond and they often make for good parents that watch over their young ones with a keen eye.
She also added that almost everywhere we live, there are crows, and they're often very shy, so we tend to not notice them and only hear their harsh crow call. However, Alexandra explains that each of these birds has a unique personality.
"I can tell you from experience it is wonderful to have wild friends; their freedom enriches my life immensely," Alexandra said.