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Flight WaysLife and Loss at the Edge of Extinction$
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Thom van Dooren

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780231166188

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231166188.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM COLUMBIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.columbia.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Minnesota Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CUPSO for personal use.date: 21 September 2021

Mourning Crows

Mourning Crows

Grief in a Shared World

(p.125) Five Mourning Crows
Flight Ways

Thom van Dooren

Columbia University Press

This chapter explores the meaning of mourning for the death of others by looking through the lives of Hawaiian crows. Unlike other urban scavenging corvids, Hawaiian crows lived primarily among the trees, as these shelter the bulk of their diet—invertebrates and forest fruits. Also, as the island's largest forest bird with a role as a seed dispenser, Hawaiian crows influence the normal functioning of dry- and wet-forest ecosystems. These birds are considered exceptional because they not only live a meaningful life in the forest, they also possess a high degree of intelligence and a capacity for deeply social and emotional lives. Nonetheless, the key problem causing their extinction is the rapid and ongoing alteration of the environment due to the human settlement that began about 1,500 to 2,000 years ago.

Keywords:   mourning, death, Hawaiian Crows, corvids, invertebrates, forest fruits, dry-forest ecosystem, wet-forest ecosystem, intelligence, environment alteration

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