Military considered using crows to find Osama Bin Laden - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

Military considered using crows to find Osama Bin Laden

SEATTLE, WA (NBC) - A team of highly trained navy seals took down Osama bin laden, but a few years ago, the military recruited a team of highly unusual team to help find the world's number one terrorist.

Researchers at the University of Washington discovered crows can recognize human faces.

 Professor John Marzluff claims the birds can not only remember someone, but they can also pass on their description to other crows.

Marzluff said crows responded when a person bothered them or fed them. When that person came around again, the crows began cawing.

Marzluff and his students tested this by wearing scary masks when they captured and tagged crows five years ago. To this day, when they wear those masks, the crows on campus begin cawing like crazy.

After this discovery, officials with the U.S. military approached Marzluff.

"And they thought it might be a useful technique for them to identify soldiers that were lost behind enemy lines or persons of interest like Osama (Bin Laden)," said Marzluff"

The military contracted with Marzluff to test the notion of creating a spy network of crows.

Officials had Marzluff make masks of his students and staff to test the crows' ability to distinguish between them and they did this with amazing accuracy.

And when the crows saw the individuals they recognized, they announced their presence by cawing.

Marzluff said military personnel would just need to monitor the crows behavior to track enemies they may be looking for.

Copyright WIS 2011. All rights reserved. NBC contributed to this report.

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