Sunday, February 10, 2008

Watching Crows Windsurfing

so today a snowy wind periodically burst down on us showing us that the wood of tall spindly spruce trees is actually woven, supple. and on a walk i found a corner where dozens of crows where cackling and cawing and yacking and growling and clicking and clacking. even a new crow sound for me, kind of like a cat growling. always inventive, critters are.

anyway they were hanging out in trees and diving into the blustery wind doing acrobatics. flying into the wind, pulling their wings in looking like flying batmobiles to loose altitude like rocks against the wind, then peeling out, twisting, splaying feathers. HOW? They were amazingly skilled! dozens and not one snapped a wing plummeting to the ground! Their wings weigh nothing, how do the bones do it? Feathers! interlocking feathers stronger than bones? What an invention! I wonder if they can tense each feather like a finger?

Were they playing for the wind especially or merely adjusting their social arrangements from tree to tree only mildly annoyed at the wind? How could i do an experiment to find out?

at some point in their lives they must play to learn these skills, no? i thought about vertebrate nervous systems, never hardwired from instructions in the genes, no, they grow themselves by playing. so when we grow we have to play to learn to use them.

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