I work at a center for endangered bird species, and of the five endemic Hawaiian species, one of them includes the Hawaiian Crow. I arrived here just at the beginning of breeding season, when the crows started building their nests. We make notes about the birds daily activities and interaction between breeding pairs. Typically, comments would include pairs perching together, soliciting vocalizations, allobilling or allofeeding.
But today, oh boy today our most “selective” female (she attacks and pins down every male she’s been paired with, including her current mate who is larger than her) copulated with that mate (and then proceeded to pin him down immediately after). And that was one of the highlights of my day.
Now I’m not complaining here. The opportunity to work with these endangered animals has been amazing and I have learned so many new skills here. It’s amazing. I just didn’t expect that crow sex would be the highlight of my day sometimes! Everyday here I work on a different routine varying from forest birds to crows (both normal crows and crazy ones). Coming from more of a research background, I’m used to working on the same project all the time, but all of the aspects of it. From creating a a plan and a procedure, managing data, analyzing data, and presenting my findings, you’re constantly facing new challenges. And while those in the husbandry field face their fair share of challenges, its a bit different than in the research field.
I took this opportunity to try to figure out if I wanted to go the captive management route or the research route with my passion for wildlife. And while I’m leaning more and more towards research, I’m glad I’ve gotten the opportunity to get excited about endangered crow sex.
*I would include pictures of the birds if I could but its not permitted through my work. You should look them up though!