Found a Peanut, Struttin' , 2010 - Toni Youngblood
This fellow was strutting proudly to show off his peanut find when I saw him at Green Lake in Seattle. I always wondered whether he ate that glorious trophy of his! The painting above sold last month in Salt Lake City.
There are not nearly as many real crows making Salt Lake their home as there are in Seattle. However, there are more crows in Salt Lake City than there were twenty years ago. Does that mean SLC is getting "wilder"? No, more likely it means that Salt Lake is becoming more urban. Sound counter-intuitive? Not when you consider humans continue to encroach on the wilderness. Corvids, (crows and ravens) thrive in the human-made environment.
Here are some of the reasons why: We create roadkill and garbage that they love to devour. They will even snatch our fast food hamburger from the picnic table. Human suppression of many of the raptors that would devour crows make cities and agricultural areas relatively safe havens, especially since they are more than smart enough to outwit people with shotguns! From In the Company of Crows and Ravens.
Love them or hate them, corvids are very intelligent birds and entertaining to observe.
More links - videos demonstrating real-life crow intelligence:
Joshua Klein on the Intelligence of Crows
Really clever crows in Japan
More crow paintings: here