The most hated person to a crow is the person who climbs up into the nest and bands the babies. Scientists have claimed for years that the crows single them out and can recognize individuals. A report from the University of Washington just published the results from a five year study. To ensure that the crows were recognizing the face and not the clothes, they used masks (including one of a caveman and one of Dick Cheney). Even after going for a year without seeing the threatening human, the crows would scold the person on sight, cackling, swooping and dive-bombing in mobs of 30 or more. The interesting thing is that the crows doing the scolding were usually not even the ones involved in banding!
“Most of the birds that are scolding us are not the ones we captured,” said study researcher John Marzluff, a professor of wildlife science at the University of Washington and an occasional victim of crow attacks. “It’s likely that they’re learning from their parents and their peers that this dangerous person is still out there.”
Congenitally blind people use the visual part of their brains (the occipital cortex) for language. It goes to show you how brain real estate is super valuable. One prediction that we can make from this finding is that “a blind individual would be more resilient to brain damage to classic language regions,” says Marina Bedny, a researcher at MIT.
SO, if you like to ride motorcycles and then crash and the injuries to your brain are primarily in the language regions, well let’s hope that you were blind to begin with so that you can still talk and put together sentences.