Ever since we were small, we’ve been taught to be kind, as it looks for no return. Whatever good anyone does, comes back to them in some way or another. It’s true that children love animals, but not all of them become true friends. However, this beautiful little soul, Gabi Mann from Seattle, Washington, and her unusual friends, have fascinated the world. This 8-year-old girl has been feeding crows for over 4 years. As time passed, Gabi and the crows became friends, and they started leaving little gifts for her.
Gabi keeps all these valuable gifts in a storage box in labeled bags, with all the important details written on them. She has one bag which has a broken light bulb which is labeled: “Black table by feeder. 2:30 p.m. 09 Nov 2014.” Her favorite out of these is a pearl-colored heart. However, she has also gotten many other gifts from the crows like buttons, paper clips, and pieces of foam, Lego pieces, and beads. This little girl truly believes that these small trinkets show how much these birds love her. This was an accident that happened back in 2011 when Gabi was only 4, and she had a bad habit of dropping her food. And soon enough, crows started to approach her to see if she had dropped something edible.
When she was growing older, Gabi came to realize that the crows were hungry and made up her mind to feed them on her way to and from school. Because of this, the crows were starting to wait for Gabi at the bus stop, and most often, Gabi used to give all of her and her brother’s lunch to these animals. As time passed, the whole family, including Gabi’s mom and brother, came to love the crows.
Since 2013, Gabi has been feeding the crows on a daily basis, with the help of her mother. They leave different kinds of food for these animals including peanuts and dog food, and they also haven’t forgotten to fill the birdbath they have in their back yard with fresh water. As the family worked, the crows would perch on telephone lines and caw loudly.
With time, the crows started to leave behind little shiny gifts for their friend. These gifts ranged from a button, a screw or even a polished rock. Some of these gifts have become really valuable to Gabi, like a small piece of metal which has the word “best” engraved on it. What Gabi finds amusing is that out there, there actually might be a crow wearing “the part that says ‘friend’”. According to a professor of Wildlife Science at the University of Washington, John Marzluff, it is possible to develop a bond with crows, but the person needs to “be consistent in rewarding them.” He goes on to say that although he has seen crows giving gifts to people, but not all of them are always shiny and pretty. In the gifts that she has received, Gabi too has received some not too pleasant gifts as well, including a rotting crab claw.
In the gifts that the family has received, Lisa, Gabi’s mom too has her very own favorite gift: a camera lens cap, which is actually hers, as she had lost hers in an ally close to their house. When she had gone and checked the bird cam, she notices that these birds had brought it back: “You can see it bringing it into the yard. Walks it to the birdbath and actually spends time rinsing this lens cap. I’m sure that it was intentional. They watch us all the time. I’m sure they knew I dropped it. I’m sure they decided they wanted to return it.”
Lisa goes on to add that Gabi loves seeing the birds eat, and even “gave the crows nicknames and could identify them just by looking at them.” The National Audubon Society, a nonprofit that protects birds goes on to say: “Crows are amazingly smart, social, and playful, and they’re one of the few bird species that’s been documented to have individual human facial recognition. With all of these factors combined, it’s easy to see why they would develop a very interactive and social relationship with this family.”