LINKEDINCOMMENTMORE

SEATTLE -- Years before a specially-trained team of NavySEALs swooped in on Osama bin Laden's hideout in Pakistan, another team was being assessed to possibly aid in the search for Public Enemy No. 1.

University of Washington Wildlife Sciences Professor, John Marzluff, was contracted by the military to study crowsandtheir ability to recognize human faces.

Photos: UW crows trained to search for bin Laden

Severalyears ago, Marzluff and his team wore caveman masks when they captured and tagged crows on the UW campus. To this day, if they wear those masks, they are harassed by flocks of crows following their every step. When they take the masks off, the crows leave them alone.

The military heard of this research and considered the possibility of using crows to recognize missing soldiers or even the world's most wanted terrorist, bin Laden.

Latest: Obama honors 9/11 victims after bin Laden death

Marzluff explained you could replace the caveman mask with an Osama mask, harass or even kill crows, and then wait for word to spread through the entire crow-nation. Osama's face would, theoretically, set off a crow commotion.

Marzluff said the crows would probably be up to the task, but he said the birds would be better suited to finding soldiers stuck behind enemy lines or missing children back home.

Interactive: How Public Enemy No. 1 lived, died

LINKEDINCOMMENTMORE
Read or Share this story: http://www.kgw.com/story/news/2014/07/22/11944024/