|Other names:||Cavue, Corbiaus, Corneille, Cornices, Incendula|
A long-lived bird that foretells the future
Crows live a long time, and are monogamous. If the male crow dies, the female will never take another mate (compare this to the story of the turtledove). Crows take responsibility for feeding their offspring, and escort their young in flight. The crow's voice predicts rain, and the crow is said to be able reveal ambushes and foretell the future. Crows lead flocks of storks when they cross the sea to Asia. When the crow finds a corpse, it first pecks out the eye so it can get to the brain. Crows fight with owls; they compete in stealing each other's eggs, the crow during the day and owl at night.
The Aberdeen Bestiary takes the opportunity with this bird to present a sermon on parenting: "Let men learn from the crow's example and its sense of duty, to love their children. In contrast, women of our human race wean their babies as soon as they can, even the ones they love. ... If the women are poor, they cast out their infants... The rich themselves also kill their children in the womb, to avoid dividing their estate among many heirs... What creature but man has taken the view that children can be renounced? What creature but man has endowed parents with such barbarous rights? What creature but man, in the brotherhood created by nature, has made brothers unequal?"