Brittany Shelton of Sit ‘N Stay Pet Sitting has found a cool new animal to interact with – or should we say ‘crow-exist’ – CROWS.
Many of our Readers know Shelton as one of our longtime Advertisers whose independent local business offers licensed, bonded and insured pet sitting, dog walking and other services for pets.
But recently, she has been interacting in unusual ways with other animal friends – crows – and often while walking client dogs; check out these videos from her TikTok channel below:
As we previously reported, in 2020, Shelton bonded with a young crow she named ‘Kismet,’ which she would feed and interact with daily until it flew the coop on its own.
As part of her job, Shelton walks around 18 miles per day, frequenting Normandy Park City Hall Park, Lake Burien Park and Marvista Park almost daily.
And while her daily life may now resemble a Hitchcock horror film, it’s far different.
“It wasn’t until last year that I started to pick up on their nuances and how to communicate with them, and it intrigued me, so I started watching them as they were following me,” she told The B-Town Blog. “I thought it was just a fluke that they were following me but then I realized ‘okay I can actually level up on this’ and make this a fun thing that I do every day.”
Shelton says that a pretty big murder of crows hang out around her house, and she buys 50 pounds of peanuts from the feed store for them every week.
“I take some peanuts along with me to see what they’ll do, and I will drop them along the way,” she said. “I’ve always talked to them but now I started thinking ‘how can I make this even better with what I know now?’ and so I thought ‘you’re super smart and you’re smarter than dogs I can train dogs, I do it for a living, I’m gonna train these crows’ and so that’s what I’m doing.”
She started dropping peanuts, and speaks keywords that she hopes the crows learn and associate what her activities.
“I started using the same phrases with them so that they pick up on on it,” she said, “and they also like consistency, so the fact that they see me on a very regular basis, and they know that they can rely on me I think that played a humongous role in this being so successful.”
But Shelton started noticing that she was acquiring more and more crow followers, so she thought “now we’ve got ourselves a good time, right?” so she got in her car one day, but had forgotten to feed them their final round of peanuts.
“They got mad at me – you know how they like a routine – so they got mad at me and started dive-boming my car and I was like ‘okay, all right y’all are mad at me’ so I turned around and I went back and gave them their peanuts.”
Then she had an idea.
“You know what? I bet I can get them to follow my car, so I drove to Marvista Park and City Hall Park the other day,” she said. Soon the crows started recognizing her car, and she has trained them to follow her as she drives along Marine View Drive.
“I drive a little bit slow and they of course started to pick up on it, and they were like ‘oh hell yeah let’s go for a drive’ so I will drop peanuts here and there,” she said. “I started driving further and further distances with them and the other day they followed me for almost eight minutes around Normandy Park.”
And the crows know Shelton so well, some wait for her outside her clients’ homes.
“It’s pretty wild to have a little crow entourage when you’re driving,” she added, “so then I started telling them when I’m turning left or when we come to a stop I say ‘brake’ and so now they’re starting to get it.”
City employees who work outside, as well as school kids are also aware of her unusual relationship with corvids.
“A lot of people don’t realize that if you listen to the birds, they will tell you everything that’s going on because of the way they act within a higher environment in nature, and it’s just really incredible,” she added, “and so I want to be able to bridge that gap between you know how we kind of just ‘crow exist.’”
Shelton’s camaraderie with animals is pretty special, and is definitely something to caw about.
“I thought my days couldn’t get any better because of my job and what I do and how much I love that, and this has just been like the cherry on top of my days – it’s really wild.”
And if you think this is cool, Shelton has advice for how you can befriend crows: