Crow snowboards down roof on mayonnaise lid, repeatedly (video)

So, this is odd. A crow takes a mayonnaise jar lid, stands on it, and slides down a roof as if it’s on a snowboard.

Then it picks up the lid, flies to the top of the roof, slides down again. It seems to have done this a few times, or I suspect the people wouldn’t have grabbed their camera.


It’s not entirely clear what the bird is doing. I have a hard time believing a crow is sentient enough, intelligent enough, to have ‘fun’ – especially this kind of fun. This would be way too advanced for that kind of animal, I’d think. But what is it doing? It might just be jumping on it to hold it in place, while it pecks at it, then it keeps sliding. But I don’t know.

Have a look. (PS, it’s Friday afternoon, I’m over the heavy news for the week. So unless something breaks, it’s the weekend baby, don’t expect any deep articles for a while.)

(I’m told that in order to better see my Facebook posts in your feed, you need to “follow” me.)

Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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22 Responses to “Crow snowboards down roof on mayonnaise lid, repeatedly (video)”

  1. HeartlandLiberal says:

    I find it hard to believe that people still underestimate the intelligence and analytical skills of other species. Please read “Alex and Me’, by Irene Pepperberg, whose work with Alex the Gray parrot put an end to the Skinnerian mechanical model imposed on animal intelligence once and for all.

    As for crows:

    New experiments by Oxford University scientists reveal that New
    Caledonian crows can spontaneously use up to three tools in the correct
    sequence to achieve a goal, something never before observed in non-human
    animals without explicit training.

  2. Buford says:

    Totally agree. We had a pet crow for a while… it could say ‘Hello’, and it definitely had personality and was playful.

  3. rmthunter says:

    I can’t see any reason to assume that the crow is not “intelligent” enough to do something for fun. It’s a much more reasonable explanation than ascribing its behavior to some deep, unconscious, more or less automatic behavioral response to snow and mayonnaise jar lids.

    Did you think it was working through daddy issues or something?

  4. Jafafa Hots says:

    You’re handsome and curious?

  5. eggroll_jr says:

    That’s a jackdaw, which is in the crow family. They are quite smart and curious birds.

  6. Jafafa Hots says:

    Crows are VERY smart. As mentioned below, New Caledonia crows use tools – and some even CRAFT tools. One, when given the opportunity to grab food in a tube with a metal hook, stole the hook.
    So another took a straight “placebo” piece of wire and bent it into a hook to get the food.

    So yeah, the crow could be simply entertaining itself.

  7. Naja pallida says:

    You know nothing, John Sn… err… Aravosis.

  8. Whitewitch says:

    He is a crow with his winter coat on….

  9. Whitewitch says:

    I love crows….they are very bright and ohhh soooo handsome. And curious – very very curious!

  10. I hate crows. Add it to the list :)

  11. S1AMER says:

    Crows and other corvids are very, very smart. Some serious research has been done with New Caledonia Crows and their ability to use tools.

  12. Naja pallida says:

    Doesn’t look anything like a pigeon. The typical American crow may be black, but there’s about fifty different species of crows all over the world, that come in various shades of brown, gray, there are even black and white ones in Africa. That one looks like a hooded crow, the most common crow species throughout much of Europe.

  13. cole3244 says:

    unlike some things human do there must be a good reason for the crow to be doing this whether we understand it or not.
    ps – crows are very intelligent in bird sense i mean.

  14. Sally says:

    Is that a crow? I thought crows were black. It looks like a pigeon to me,,,

  15. milli2 says:

    When I lived by the coast, the crows had learned from the seagulls how to drop mussels onto the rocks to break them open.

  16. milli2 says:

    I visited a bird sanctuary where a crow lived in an enclosure. As I walked by it was hiding behind a pole in the center of the enclosure peeking at me and then ducking behind it. I thought it was just hiding. When I walked by again later, he specifically flew from a high perch on the side back to the center pole and proceeded to peek out at me and then duck back yet again. I realized that he was then playing peek-a-boo and started playing along with him.

  17. LanceThruster says:

    Why not? Birds have fun as ‘wind-surfers’ (they ride the ‘bow wave’ off of car windshields).

  18. lunasolara says:

    Corvids, the family of birds including crows and ravens, are some of the smartest birds there are. There’s good reason why they’re associated with so many pagan deities from the Morrigan of Ireland to Odin All-father to the many versions of Native American Tricksters. These are creatures that rarely do anything without stopping and thinking things through. Plenty of humans could do to learn that lesson.

  19. pricknick says:

    Cripes John, you have a problem believing that one of the most intelligent birds on the planet can experience fun? You need to get out in nature more.

  20. perljammer says:

    Crows are pretty smart as birds go; it wouldn’t surprise me that this one was just entertaining himself. According to John Marzluff, Professor of Wildlife Science in the UW’s School of
    Environmental and Forest Sciences, and artist/naturalist Tony Angell,
    co-authors of Gifts of the Crow, “They play, take risks, reward people who help (or feed) them, use cars
    as nutcrackers, seek revenge on harassing animals, and dream.” And this article talks about crows repeatedly tumbling down a snowy hill just for the heck of it, among other fun behaviors:

  21. Kalil says:

    Crows are very intelligent, quite possibly the most intelligent birds (although their close cousin, the raven, is generally considered to be a bit smarter). They are mischievous and communicative, capable of using a variety of improvised tools, and it is not hard at all to believe they’d be capable of ‘having fun’.

    See also:

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