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Professor David Craig and his student, Kaeli Swift '09, observe crows on the Willamette campus.Professor David Craig and his student, Kaeli Swift '09, observe crows on the Willamette campus.

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Willamette professor’s crow research featured on PBS

We may not be able to tell one black crow from another, but they can certainly distinguish us — Willamette University Biology Professor David Craig's research has shown that crows recognize and remember human faces.

The research Craig did with several colleagues, including John Marzluff at the University of Washington, is the subject of this week's "Nature" show on PBS. "A Murder of Crows" features the researchers' project using Halloween masks to prove that crows recognize faces.

The show airs this Sunday, Oct. 24, at 8 p.m. Craig wears a mask through much of the show, but keep an eye out for his black fleece jacket with the Willamette logo. Craig posted photos from the video shoot on Flickr.

Several of Craig's students have worked with him on the crow research, including Kaeli Swift '09, who did her own related research for her thesis.

To learn more about their crow findings, check out Craig at an upcoming Science Pub event on Nov. 9 at 6:30 p.m. at Brown's Towne Lounge in Salem.

10-19-2010