This girl is friends with birds, like a real-life Disney princess
If you spent most of your childhood wildly jealous at Eliza from The Wild Thornberrys for her ability to talk to animals, get prepared for the unprecedented FOMO to start all over again, because there is an 8-year-old girl in Seattle who is friends with an entire pack of crows. In fact, the local crows love Gabi Mann so much that they even started leaving her trinkets, and now she has a very impressive collection random shiny things, buttons, screws, earrings, and even a LEGO to show for it. It sounds like something straight out of a Disney princess movie or quite possibly an incarnation of a real life Khaleesi, but unlike those stories, this one is insanely, beautifully, mind-bogglingly REAL.
It all started when Gabi was four, when the neighborhood crows wised up and realized she had a habit of dropping food that was ripe for the taking. Later she generously decided to share some of her lunch with them, and after her brother joined in, they amassed a cult following of happy birds who waited expectantly at the bus stop for her every morning. It wasn’t long before her mother helped make it a ritual by helping them leave dog food in a bird bath every morning, and that’s when gifts started mysteriously appearing in the backyard.
Gabi is very careful with these prized possessions, and has them all organized by date and the place where they first found them. John Marzluff, a nearby professor of wildlife science at the University of Washington who studied the bond between crows and people who feed them, explained to the BBC that crows form relationships with their feeders that are very personal and enduring. Still, this is the first case we’ve heard of where the crows are making it rain shiny things to say their thanks.
The most surprising moment of all, Gabi’s mother Lisa explains, came when she had lost a camera lens out when she was photographing a bald eagle — the next morning, her lost lens mysteriously rematerialized. They knew right away it must have been the crows, and video evidence of the Bird Cam they have set up in the backyard confirmed their suspicion: “You can see it bringing it into the yard. Walks it to the birdbath and actually spends time rinsing this lens cap … I’m sure that it was intentional. They watch us all the time. I’m sure they knew I dropped it. I’m sure they decided they wanted to return it.”
Insanely jealous yet? Me too. But more than that I am in total awe of this adorable human who I suspect is a direct descendant of the animal-protecting goddess Artemis. BRB, everyone, I’m going out to go buy some crow food to try to make a zillion flying, glitter-bombing new friends.