IN THESE times when doubts and uncertainties seem to overshadow acts of kindness, people sometimes forget to reflect and be appreciative of the good things the life offers. But a story between a young girl from Seattle and her friends has made the internet nation believe that no such present is little when given out of ingenuity.
In 2015, then eight-year-old Gabi Mann made it to the headlines of various news outfits for having a “special gift” that made netizens believe that animals and birds have an innate relationship with humans.
Most eight-year-olds consider expensive toys as their most valuable possessions. But for Mann, it was a box of “thingamabobs” that contains items that symbolize affection and appreciation. The box protects the little gifts that were delivered to her by crows that she was feeding since she was four years old—any appealing or shiny items that fit in their beaks such as buttons, earrings, beads, paper clips, or lego pieces, among others.
Gabi and her mother, Lisa Mann, believe that the crows were dropping off these gifts to reciprocate the young girl’s affection.
Accident turned into a friendship
It was not all planned for the “bird-whisperer.”
Lisa recalled that the feeding activity started when the young Gabi was consistently dropping food by accident in the lawn. This miscommunication lured the crows and seemed as though expecting Gabi to drop more.
Growing up, it became on purpose as Gabi started to share her school lunch with the crows. Lucky for Gabi, her mother did not mind it. Lisa supported Gabi’s hobbies by eventually setting up a backyard birdbath with freshwater and bird-feeder canisters.
“I like that she loves animals and that she and her brother are willing to share. Her relationship with birds was transformational. I never thought about birds,” Lisa said.
Lisa said the crows were also once beneficial in finding lost items, including camera’s lens cap, pendants, and necklace.
“You can see it bringing it into the yard. Walks it to the birdbath and actually spends time rinsing this lens cap,” she added.
Friendship goals: Human and gift-giving crows
Gabi’s special friendship with the gift-giving crows made waves in social media.
The idea of “befriending a crow” caught the interest of Reddit user saroj7878 who fed bar nuts to crows flocked at a nearby patio. Three months after, he noticed the crows leaving gifts where the bowls were located.
Reddit user gcm6664 also shared his heartwarming friendship with a crow, which did not deliver any gift, but established a personal connection. After the Reddit user and his brother covered “Leanor” with a blanket during a rainy day, they noticed that the crow regularly visits them at their window—as if saying “hello.”
What Science says
Online Science magazine Nautilus described crows as one of the most intelligent birds on the planet despite not having a neocortex, a part of the brain concerned with sight and hearing.
However, crows, like ravens and magpies, possess corvid intelligence that allows them to create and store memories or learn from experience.
A study conducted by Kaeli Swift, a PhD candidate at the University of Washington in Seattle, proved this by showing that crows have the ability to investigate threats.
The innate friendship between the human and animals, in this case, a bird, prove that living things co-exist to create a balance. Birds and animals can’t talk, but they can communicate. And it is our job to make sure that they are heard.