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crowWhat is a Crow's Nest and what is the origin.

Please leave your answer/comments below.

Thanks Anthony, Richard and Jacquie - Your answers are right on.

Military history says that "the crow (the bird, not the rating badge) was an essential part of the early sailors' navigation equipment. These land-lubbing fowl were carried on board to help the navigator determine where the closest land lay when the weather prevented sighting the shore visually. In cases of poor visibility, a crow was released and the navigator plotted a course that corresponded to the bird's because it invariably headed toward land."

"The crow's nest was situated high in the main mast where the look-out stood his watch. Often, he shared this lofty perch with a crow or two since the crows' cages were kept there: hence the "crow's nest".

It has also been said that the term "As the crow flies" came from British coastal vessels that customarily carried a cage of crows. Crows detest large expanses of water and head, as straight as a crow flies, towards the nearest land if released at sea - very useful if you were unsure of the nearest land when sailing in foggy waters before the days of radar. The lookout perch on sailing vessels thus became known as the crow's nest.

 

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The crows nest was up the main mast of sailing ships, it would give someone more vision of the horizon than on the deck. it got the name crows nest from when they were in port, crows and Sea gulls would rest there awaiting the ship to dump waste...

The crows nest was up the main mast of sailing ships, it would give someone more vision of the horizon than on the deck. it got the name crows nest from when they were in port, crows and Sea gulls would rest there awaiting the ship to dump waste overboard.<br />Instructor (retired) British Royal Navy sailing ship, Winston Churchill

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Without consulting Wikipedia or other such sources, the "Crow's Nest" was a woven wicker or rope basket mounted at the highest point on the highest mast of ancient sailing vessels where a designated crew member would act as a lookout to scan the...

Without consulting Wikipedia or other such sources, the "Crow's Nest" was a woven wicker or rope basket mounted at the highest point on the highest mast of ancient sailing vessels where a designated crew member would act as a lookout to scan the horizon to advise the captain below of other vessels (eg. pirate ships) or land or reefs or obstructions in the path of the ship. His famous call would be "Land Ho." Since maximum horizontal visibility on open water in clear weather is 15 miles at six feet off the water, the extra height of the Crow's Nest would permit many more additional miles of visibility to the hozizon. It obviously gets its name since it looks almost precisely like the nest a crow builds of sticks and grass at the highest point of a tree.

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I also remember that when I asked Dad (Art) what a crow's nest was he gave the descriptions mentioned in previous comments but he also said that sailors, like miners, would bring along caged crows or other sea birds and if unable to site land...

I also remember that when I asked Dad (Art) what a crow's nest was he gave the descriptions mentioned in previous comments but he also said that sailors, like miners, would bring along caged crows or other sea birds and if unable to site land from the crow's nest the birds would be released. The birds would instinctively head for land and the vessel would follow safely behind.

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