Talking Crows-How are crows taught to talk? Are their tongues split?
It is not necessary to split a crow’s tongue to teach it to talk, no more than to cut a parrot’s tongue. I have taught several crows to talk here and in Europe, and tried both ways, to cut and not to cut, and both birds spoke alike; in fact, they imitated almost anything. Magpies will do the very same thing. The trick is to take birds young from the nest and feed them, so that they will become very tame, and if you give them a little of your time every day, and talk very plainly and slowly to them alone, they soon will try themselves. If you have two young crows, try yourself to cut one, not split. Take a small, sharp scissors and cut the little band out below the tongue. This should make it more movable. This band is wedge shape, thin as tissue and connects tongue with lover beak part. In southern Germany near the River Rhine and Taunus Mountains, most of the shepherds passed their time by teaching crows, magpies and starlings to talk and sing, and they all used to cut out the tissue band and simply called it loosening the tongue.
Harding, A.R.. 3001 Questions and Answers. Columbus, Oh: A.R. Harding, 1913.
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