Requested by @impetuousesper
Crows, ravens, and the whole genus of of Corvus are famous for being intelligent birds who double as dark omens. Murkrow and Honchkrow are certainly no exception. Just like corvids in our world, these two pokémon are harrowed as harbingers of ill fortune, displaying incredible intelligence and able to summon mass groups .
There’s a whole lot to talk about crows, but let’s start with the myths. Why exactly are crows considered to be a bad omen? Crows are scavengers, so over time they came to be associated with dead bodies as they flocked to battlefields and graveyards. Much like vultures, they follow death around. A group of crows is ominously called a “murder”, partly due to an old folktale that said crows gathered in councils to decide the fate of a fellow crow.
As Honchkrow’s pokédex entry states, if it utters a deep cry it will summon many Murkrow quickly. Crows can also summon murders; in fact, corvids display some of the most amazing social skills in the animal kingdom. Some species of crows have more than 250 different caws. Some raise alarms, some seduce potential mates, and others beckon other crows to their location. Crows tend to roost in huge numbers – sometimes over a thousand crows – to protect each other from potential predators. Safety in numbers. If one crow is in trouble, it can call for help and summon the rest of it’s squad.
In addition to being remarkably social, crows are also amazingly intelligent. Some crows will build fake nests to fool predators. Some will squish ants and rub them all over their feathers like perfume, which protects them from parasites. In one study, crows were shown to be able to remember 200 different locations where they hid food. In another, crows were able to recognize a scientist even when they were wearing a mask and wearing different clothes. One study claims that crows have the same reasoning skills as a seven-year-old human.
Crows are also known to use and build tools. They can use stones as hammers, use sticks to get bugs out of trees, and they can bend wires into hooks just to reach food that would otherwise be inaccessible. Despite all of this, the famous stereotypes that crows collect shiny things is actually just a myth.