Updated: Mar 29, 2020
Hello again, Smurphies! Before we get to the real reason we're here, let's talk murder, for those of you wondering [And we all were.]. Murder is what you call a grouped assortment of crows. Not the only name, but the most popular [Plus it's just so fun to say in specific context!]. I thought of this when I trying to come up with the title of this blog post to match the last one's design. I knew I didn't want to say flock and that there had to be a specific name for a group of crows, wah la!
In my last research post, we talked about black cats and how I might put a black cat in my novel The Wiccan. I did put a cat in my novel, but not black. For two reasons only. One, the black-cat-and-witches thing is way overdone and two, I have a theme of white going on right now, so I'm going with it. Which brings us to this post. . .
White crows are. A. Thing [Someone sound the alarm! This ain't a drill!]. I stumbled upon this when I decided I wanted one more animal in my story for Morgana to have as a pet. I was thinking to lil' ole me, what other black animal is associated with witches? Then it hit me, crows. Really, I've only seen a crow with the most famous witch of all, Maleficent, but need I say more? Maleficent is goals set by arguably one of the best storytellers of all time. So, I thought, "There has to be an albino crow in existence, even if it's rare."
A lightning-fast search later and there it was, my white crow. To make all stories as accurate as possible, us great writers, we keep digging. Leucism is what causes crows to have complete white feathers or more than one white feather. This genetic mutation also gives them normal colored eyes with or without pink beaks and feet. But how? This happens when there's no melanin in all or part of the plumage, not in the soft tissues though.
What's really interesting is that there are other types of common genetic disorders in crows that cause them to be grey [Which is even cooler looking than the albino!], make them looker darker than normal, muting colors, and an array of uneven amounts of the colors red, orange, and yellow across the plumage [So. Cool.]!
A grey crow would've been cool too, but you know, I have to stick to my word [Especially because if the black cat ever found out. . .]. You should know though that diet, disease, or injury can also cause these abnormalities other than genetics, so be careful out there and don't try to touch the birds [Consensual bird-watching only!]! White crows aside, there's also a stereotype on crows out there about them being unintelligent birds, are distracted by shiny things, and bring them to you [Or something to that affect.].
Crows are actually very smart. They can be trained to talk, just like parrots are famously known for. The shiny objects myth might've also come from crows that liked to gather things of value for their owners, shiny things like coins, jewelry, or keys. But, gift-giving crows is a thing and an entirely different thing altogether! Corvids (within the crow family) are known to bare gifts. Though, it's in your better interest to expect crows not to bring you gifts if you feed them. It is a mystery as to why some do this, but it is speculated that it's because of the award-system aspect. Not all crows will react this way to being fed.
Some reading this might think things like, "Okay, crows, cool. But ravens are more badass. Why not a raven?" This might be true [I mean, we've seen the pictures. I agree with them.], but I've always had a soft-spot for the lesser-liked i.e. the underdog. Not to mention, The Wiccan is all about the underdog! As a coming-of-age, YA, fantasy, fiction novel, the underdog thrives in the environment beating them down. It's only when they discover who they are and own it do they truly shine as the superior!
This was super fun learning and even funner sharing it with my Smurphs! All facts were found on a Crow Person's website called Corvid's Research. Her name is Kaeli Swift and you can find her on her super gorgeous Instagram account @corvidresearch.
the Blue Label
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