Twitter users have been left scratching their heads after the footage surfaced, which appears to show the animal resting on its wings.
The video, which already has over nine million views, was shared by user @keita_simpson, who writes “Thanks for the shock this morning. Bad for the heart.”
In the clip, the bird almost resembles a gorilla, resting on its wings like the ape would on its fist.
Take a look.
— LIWJATAN (@keita_simpson) June 20, 2019
Kaeli Swift PhD, a researcher who specialises in crow behaviour, has put forward an explanation.
Sharing the video, she says “This bird is not missing its legs and propping itself up with its wings, that would be physically impossible. Also, not that it’s relevant to the answer, but a crow without legs couldn’t fly, because it couldn’t generate any lift. So legless crow is a dead crow.”
Kaeli explains “What it’s actually doing is sunning itself. When birds sun they drop their wings and cock their tails. At the right angle that could obscure the legs and tail making it look like they’re missing.”
She says “Usually the mouth is open and the body is closer to the ground, making the behavior more obvious, but perhaps the videographer caught it in a moment of transition. In any case sunning like this is a common behavior among birds. Sometimes it’s about warming up but a lot of times you’ll see them do it when it’s hot out. In these cases it’s about feather care. Sun exposure can reduce feather degrading bacteria and mites.”