A caw, crow, and some twigs
By Brandi Rose and Bird(s)

Started on: 04/25/06 01:14:42
Medium: Sculptural

After spending hours in the Library researching animal play behaivor and communication systems with some of the available wild animals around UCSB, I've decided to try something with the common crow/raven. They are very social, playful, and intelligent and ultimately I'd like to see if they would collaberate with me on some type of sculptural structure.

Other future project ideas that I have in mind would be working with squirrels, raccons, horses, and possibly a dolphin.
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Project Updates
04/27/06 15:31:08 - research

I roamed around the campus to find where most of the crows hang out at. They seem to hang out in a few trees containing pine cones just above the atrium as well as in the Faculty Green area. Looking at the trees, it might be possible to hang certain items between the branches and observe the crows' reaction to it. As far as the Faculty Green area, I'm considering taking an experiement I read about in a book further. The experiement took place with ravens (sibling to the crow and quite similar) where a pvc tube and tennis ball were placed on the ground and left alone to see if the ravens would interact with it. The birds played with the ball pushing it into the pvc tube and out as well as stuffing twigs inside. I will try something similar to see if the crows will collaborate in either building a sculptural piece or a performance where I set the stage.

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04/27/06 15:53:27 - research

After reading more about crows I found the following infomation to be helpful in understanding what they are doing in an effort to better evaulate my project and witness the difference between responses and collaborations:

From The Gensis of Animal Play:

"In any event, recent observers have also reported on flying playin young common ravens (corvas corax). This activity may involve elaborate aerial play acrobatics by large numbers of young birds (Heinrich & Smolker, 1998; Skutch 1996). These authors also report that ravens engage in other possible forms of locomotor play, icluding sliding down inclines, pushing and plowing through snow, and hanging upside down from branches." (pg 247)

"Play has been described most frequently and in the most detail in birds of two major groups, the parrots (parrots, parakeets, macaws, keas) and in the Corvidae (ravens, crows, magpies, jays)...as well as in woodpeckers..." (pg 246).

Other tidbits about ravens/crows:

they like anything novel (novelty, attraction), which can turn ito avoidance (from) in older birds, but can be increased with food deprivation
"insight" that rivals great apes

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06/05/06 13:41:45 - the evolution of a project idea

As my interest and research habits grew more towards decorating furniture with crows I have abandoned this project because I felt the research involved with the other project took more more time than anticipated.

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