Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Counting Corvids: Erica Hansen's Visit with Vinalhaven School Students

Counting Corvids Report April

This fall 30 HS students participated in a series of multi-disciplinary workshops sponsored by Vinalhaven Land Trust and PIE, examining historical, scientific and philosophical research on CROWS.

Emma Baker’s Environmental Science Class created a series of experiments investigating the Gifting Behavior of local crows.  Student’s created gifting stations around town where crows were encouraged to take a gift and/or leave a gift.  Gifts to the crows included various snacks and trinkets, and in return the students were gifted various pieces of plastic, shells etc.

                         Jasmine, Doug, Brianna and Skyler count the remaining crabs

The final experiment was designed to determine if local crows could be encouraged to eat VH’s Notorious Green Crabs!

The result: YES! Vinalhaven’s Crows will eat just about anything, including Green Crabs (if they are smaller than 4 cm in diameter).  This result created a hailstorm of ideas for further exploration, namely: Could the Crows solve the crab problem?  Could they help collect and mediate other environmental threats like plastic waste?  

Further experiments will continue this fall in collaboration with a national Crow Box vending machine project designed by hacker Joshua Klein (

In the meantime be sure to send your own reports on Gifting by Crows to the database: