Talking Crow befriends the entire Oregon elementary school


A friendly, if somewhat rude, crow became a temporary mascot at Allen Dale Elementary School in November when the bird took up residence at Grants Pass School.

“This crow showed up at our school out of the blue one morning,” Allen Dale’s teaching assistant Naomi Imel told The Oregonian / OregonLive on Thursday.

He started looking around the classrooms, Imel said, and pecking at the doors. At one point, he made his way into a fifth-grade class where he “helped himself to snacks,” she said.

Imel said the bird was not aggressive at all and seemed to like children.

“It landed on some people’s heads,” she said.

And, she added, it was talking. The bird might say, “What’s up? and “I’m fine” and “a lot of swear words”.

“It was like a parrot,” Imel said. “It was the strangest thing.”

Yet because it was a wild animal that wouldn’t leave, the school called animal control.

“It was the whole production,” Imel said. “Animal control came out and decided it was not their jurisdiction to catch the crow.”

Next, an Oregon State Police wildlife officer attended the scene.

“This officer was able to feed him with his hand,” said Imel. “They didn’t want to mark him because if they missed he would remember it.”

According to Imel, all notes came out to witness the attempt to capture the talkative crow.

The crow seemed to enjoy the attention, playfully chasing the kids around the track, she said.

“We thought it would fly away, but it doesn’t,” Imel added. “The children were like magnets.”

Ultimately, the wildlife soldier was unable to capture the crow, which spent the night of November 29 outside the school.

Turns out, Talking Crows isn’t just something out of an Edgar Allan Poe poem. And that crow, or maybe and more in line with Poe, the crow, knows at least 40 words.

“He knows a lot of words, I’m not going to lie,” Daphnie Colpron said Thursday. “His vocabulary has grown considerably in recent weeks. “

Colpron knows a lot about the crow, or maybe the crow – which can also be a female – because his mother rescued the bird about two years ago when he was a baby, bringing it back to the family farm in Williams. from a refuge and naming it “Cosmo”.

The family have dogs, including a mastiff named “Tonka Truck,” Colpron said.

“Cosmo will say, ‘Tonka, you’re coming outside,’ or he’ll say, ‘Take the dogs out,’ she said.

“Sometimes he uses profanity,” Colpron added.

Colpron’s mother, JaNeal Shattuck, considers Cosmo part of the family.

In the morning, she said, “he’ll go straight to my bedroom window and say, ‘Mom, wake up, wake up!'”

There’s a daycare in the neighborhood and Cosmo loves kids, Colpron said.

“As soon as he knew what time the kids had arrived,” she said, “he was going out there and hanging out.”

Shattuck is an animal rescuer but Cosmo is very special to her. She considers him a free bird but also has a close attachment to him and so when he disappeared after returning from a Thanksgiving out of town she was “devastated,” she said. declared. “He’s like a person, not a bird.”

At first, Shattuck feared Cosmo had been killed. It seems that while some neighbors loved Cosmo as much as Shattuck and Colpron, not everyone was as thrilled with the Talking Bird.

Cosmo is not aggressive, everyone involved with him agreed. But, said Colpron, “if people are afraid of Cosmo, he finds it a little funny.”

“He will become obnoxious,” she added, saying he likes to tease people.

As the family left for Thanksgiving, they said a neighbor captured the bird and took it to a local wildlife sanctuary. Sanctuary, not realizing he was used to humans, released him, presumably in Grants Pass.

Once out, Shattuck said, he started looking for his house, which caused a lot of noise in town.

“Cosmo was sitting on top of Planet Fitness, talking to people walking in,” Shattuck said. “He was looking for me.

Shattuck posted on Facebook about the lost bird, hoping to find it.

After following a family friend into a truck that Shattuck and Colpron believe they recognized, Cosmo found himself in Allen Dale.

“He went to see the only kid I know in Allen Dale and knocked on the door,” Shattuck said. “When he was at school, he would jump around and say, ‘It’s okay! I’m fine!”

It was the fifth grade class where Cosmo found snacks.

That night when the kid told the story of the crow talking to his father, the father called Shattuck. Colpron went to fetch Cosmo the next day.

“It took me about 45 minutes to offer sardines,” she said.

She stroked the bird and waited until its eyes were closed, then grabbed it.

Colpron thinks he’s happy to be home. He did not return to visit the neighbors who captured him.

But while the story of Cosmo the Talking Crow or Raven and his family is sweet, the Oregon State Police would prefer you not to take a bad inspiration from it.

“We don’t want people to make pets out of wild animals,” said OSP spokeswoman Stephanie Bigman. “If they had contained this bird, it would have been a wildlife offense.”

For now though, Cosmo is free and back home, and the Allen Dale kids have a story to tell this holiday season that no one is going to believe.


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