This decision was not hard to make. We all knew right away the crow made of the right stuff. Cosmo, the talking crow. This bird is believed to know around 40 words, many of them curse words. But Cosmo has made friends with a number of young humans at Allen Dale Elementary School, which is in Grants Pass, OR.

Naomi Imel, an education assistant at the school told The Oregonian that "the bird wasn’t aggressive at all and seemed to love the kids," and that it could talk in at least one of the many human languages, English. Imel: "The bird could say, 'What’s up?' and 'I’m fine' and 'a lot of swear words.'” Was it raised by a sailor? Seems unlikely. Grants Pass, which is near Ashland, is far from the state's major ports. How did this bird learn to talk? And have you ever heard a crow talking rather than its usual cawing? You have not. I have not. Give it up to Cosmos.

A student, Daphnie Colpron, who somehow managed to put a Christmas hat on the Crow of the Year, said "he knows a lot of words, I’m not going to lie.” We believe you, Colpron. The student also said “his vocabulary has expanded quite a bit in the last few weeks'' while in class. Colpron: “Cosmo will say, ‘Tonka, you come outside,’ or he’ll say, ‘Dogs out.’” (The Stranger failed to determine how Colpron knows the sex of the bird. It's very hard for an untrained human eye to determine crow gender from appearance alone. When it comes to this near non-dimorphic species, it's best to identify them as they.)

What about us? Didnt we do many amazing things in 2021, says this crow with its body language?
"What about us? Didn't we do many amazing things in 2021," says this crow with its body language? Charles Mudede

But there have been some grumblings about our choice for the Crow of the Year from a few crows in Seattle's Genesee Park. They believe the honor should have gone to them for the way they handled a predator that frequents a part of the park near Lake Washington Boulevard.

This is what one crow said with its body language to me today: "The days were still warm then. But we all got together, even with some seagulls and those little birds with the yellow beaks, and gave this hawk hell. You've never heard anything like it before. It was the bomb. All of us are cooperating. The predator frustrating. What a time that was."

I said: "But you are speaking to me in body language. Cosmos actually talks. Says words. Speaks English and maybe other human languages. How can you beat that? And besides, this business of attacking predators is common enough for your kind. I see it all of the time. In this park and other ones in other neighborhoods, all over Seattle. Nothing special about that."

Before leaving in a feathery huff, the crow said, again with its body: "You think all crows attack predators in the same way. So fucking human of you to think that. Only impressed when a crow does something human. Well, you know what you can do? You can take the whole Crow of the Year bullshit and stuff it."