We associate all sorts of animals with Halloween: black cats, spiders, bats — and crows. Millions of American crows roost all across California during this time of year.
On the corner of Eighth and K streets in downtown Sacramento around sundown, a “murder of crows” has come to roost.
It like a scene out of Alfred Hitchcock's horror film The Birds — but without the violent attacks.
But Andrew Engilis, curator of a wildlife museum at UC Davis, warned about another kind of attack.
“They'll poop on you,” he said.“So, just make sure you sort of understand that if you get into the roost.”
Within minutes after sundown, hundreds of crows engulf the nearby trees. Their calls are so loud, it nearly drowns out the city traffic.
“There's this eeriness to it, and I kind of liken it to the bray of a wolf,” Engilis said. “It really is something that humans don't like. It brings out this innate fear in almost anybody.”
Crows — which happen to be one of the smartest animals on Earth, according to biologists — have somewhere between 100 and 200 different vocalizations.
“They almost look like they're figuring out problems when they're out there,” Engilis said. “And I think, for humans, I think we can kind of connect to that.”
So this Halloween, when you're out trick-or-treating, look up. You may see genius in action.
CapRadio provides a trusted source of news because of you. As a nonprofit organization, donations from people like you sustain the journalism that allows us to discover stories that are important to our audience. If you believe in what we do and support our mission, please donate today.