Episode 63: The Secret Life of Crows with Ricky Whelan

This week I’m speaking to expert ornithologist Ricky Whelan about a talk he gives on the Secret Life of Crows, which has surprised Ricky with its “unexpected but massive interest and attendances”. As a life long lover of crows myself, I thought it would be great to find out a bit more about these birds in general, but also in a garden context. So if you’re intrigued to find out how corvids organise their societies, how they communicate, about their love lives and about the good and not so good things they do in the garden, join us as we put an eye to the key hole and spy on the secret life of crows.

About Ricky Whelan:

Ricky grew up in the Irish midlands surrounded by rural landscapes and bogland and it was here he developed his love for nature. After university Ricky left Ireland and started his conservation career in the UK working for the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) as part of their reserve’s teams in Suffolk and Cambridgeshire. On return to Ireland Ricky began working for BirdWatch Ireland on the Dublin Bay Birds Project and now leads on Urban Bird projects with a large focus of his work being on Swifts. Outside of work Ricky volunteers with a number of wildlife and conservation projects close to home and has had unexpected but massive interest and attendances with and at his “Secret Life of Crows Talk” which he regularly gives around the country. Ricky lives close to his birthplace with his Claire and their son Art.

What We Discuss:

Some of the biggest misconceptions surrounding crows

Their societal structures

Do crows mate for life?

How clever are crows?

Their repertoire of songs and sounds

How crows recognise humans

Their main food sources

Do they cause problems for gardeners or can they be beneficial?

The most amazing thing Ricky has discovered about crows during his research

Links:

Ricky Whelan on Twitter

On Instagram

Ricky’s Blog

Snowboarding Crow

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