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article imageVideo of crow sledding down roof goes viral on YouTube

By Leigh Goessl     Jan 18, 2012 in Internet
A video taken in Russia has been steadily gaining popularity the last few days.
It's not a long video, about 90 seconds, but its a clip that shows just enough to catch the eye of millions of people.
Uploaded on Jan. 11, at the time of writing, the video has 2,176,591 views.
The clip shows a crow fiddling with an item resembling a jar lid, then the bird stands on the disc and appears to intentionally sled down the side of a snow-covered roof, flapping its wings as the "sled" moves.
Towards the bottom of the "hill", the crow gets up, picks up the lid with its beak and flies back to the peak of the roof. A fluke? The bird slid by accident one might think, but the amazing part is, the bird does it not once, but at least twice.
Once the crow aligned itself back on the lid, he slides down again. The primary question viewers speculate is whether or not it was the crow's intention to purposely sled, or if people viewing the video are simply attempting to humanize the bird's act.
The Atlantic asked a bird expert what he thought of the crow's actions in the video.
"It is in keeping with the general reputation of corvids," Alan Kamil, co-director of the Center for Avian Intelligence at the University of Nebraska, told The Atlantic. "I don't know what to make of it scientifically but it is a cool example of a play-like behavior in a corvid."
"Human beings have a strong, strong, strong tendency that if we see an animal do something that's analogous to what we do, like use a tool or answer an arithmetic question, we assume that the animal is doing it and understands the situation in the same way we do," Kamil said. "And sometimes that's true but more often it's false."
Grind TV poses similar questions, then concludes, "Note the laughter of the children in the video. What they're seeing is a sledding crow, and the comical sight requires no further explanation."
( translates one of the children as saying, "Maybe it is teasing us.")
Whether or not the crow had its designs on going for a sleigh ride is up for debate, but one thing is for certain, the bird was not going to let go of that lid. Not only did the crow slide down the roof twice, it refused to let the piece go during the adventure. At the conclusion of the video, the crow still had the lid held firmly in its beak as it flew away.
So was the crow's act an intentional ride for fun? What do you think?
More about sledding crow, Viral video, Russia, Video, YouTube
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