Now the the weather has turned cold and nasty, Ruckus and I have retreated inside. Our Girl has discovered to her horror that somehow a crow has invaded the bathroom. Rest assured that she is taking all necessary measures to drive it away.

According to Gifts of the Crow, very few animals are self-aware, namely “they know who they are and how they fit into society.” (p. 191). One way to test self-awareness is to show the animal a mirror. Only great apes and magpies (members of the corvid family) have been shown to recognize themselves, but even they have to learn how the system works.

Ruckus is certainly aware of her reflection. The question is whether she will be able to take the next mental leap and figure that that image in the mirror is really just her. So far, that realization has eluded her. She is giving all the classic indicators of vision but not comprehension.

First, she tries to dominate the Demon Crow in the Mirror.

ruckus glaring at crow in the mirror

Ruckus glaring at crow in the mirror


Checking out mirror from above


Next step is to look for the Intruder Crow by opening the medicine cabinet; oddly it is not inside, yet when she looks down from the top of the chest, her nemesis reappears.

mirror flight



Finally, she goes into attack mode. The Demon Crow does not cede ground with a frontal assault, yet conveniently retreats when attack is over.

So the question remains will Ruckus figure out what is really going on? I’m beginning to have my doubts, but she may still be able to develop her reasoning skills. My plan is to put make-up foundation on her beak periodically, namely a place on her body that she will only be able to see in the mirror. If she starts rubbing her beak to get rid of the make-up, I’ll know she’s joined the elite club of self-aware beings. If she simply continues to run around snorting at the ridiculous-looking crow in the mirror, then I’ll reluctantly have to concede that she’s not as savvy as some other corvids out there.