Gabi is an 8-year-old girl living with her expatriate family in Rome. A nature lover, she started feeding crows items like peanuts, dog food and leftovers in her garden. Before she knew it, the birds started showing their appreciation by bringing her little trinkets in return.
"They give me all the special stuff you could ever find," Gabi said in an interview with the ex-pat podcast "The BitterSweet Life." "I think they know my favorite color: blue. They know I like Legos, shiny things. [Crows] are my type."
Gabi's collection has grown to dozens of objects, including buttons, stones, paper clips, metal nuts and pieces of jewelry.
Lisa, Gabi's mother, told the podcast that the crows are always keeping an eye on their family. She recounted the time that a crow returned her lost camera lens, which she had dropped while shooting outdoor photography. Video surveillance proved that a crow brought the lens cap back, rinsed it off in the backyard bird bath, and left it there for Lisa to find.
"They watch us all the time," Lisa told "The BitterSweet Life." "I'm sure they knew I dropped it."
The podcast also interviewed crow expert John Marzluff, who said that the birds will sometimes try to build relationships with the humans that feed them.