American Crow

American Crow

The wind is up again on the Delta I’m hoping this is not the beginning of the 5 month stretch we experience each year. Normally it begins at the end of April continuing through August and into September a week or two. Normal events seem to be happening earlier than what has been normal for the past 100 years or more. I read an article on a study that has found many birds are laying eggs 25 days early, I accept that. I have watched the wildlife on the Slough for the past 10 years almost every morning. It is obvious to me that this is happening, some of the Geese have already left to I assume their Summer nesting grounds.

The Crows retain a presence in our sky. They are widely spread throughout North America; we know them by their deep black appearance and raspy cawing. They partake of a curious event each morning just after daybreak. Two of the mob will be the first to take to the air, they fly across the slough into the pasture on the far side. Making a large swooping circle they seem to be surveying the entire field. After completing the circuit they return to the tree the flock is perched in. A few minutes later the entire mob takes to the air and begins their day.

They are virtually everywhere, we see them in treetops, open fields and around Parking lots. Preferring meat they will eat nearly anything Earthworms, Carrion, Fruit and Garbage are all on the menu. They don’t visit bird feeders; however a combination of Trees, open space and food will attract them to your yard. A good source of food to attract them is Peanuts, but they will pass all other food sources if meat is available.

Crows do not have a presence in South America, none will be found South of Nicaragua. It is a mystery to Scientist which will one day be solved. They fly in flocks, often seeing 3 to as many as 20 in one mob fooling around during their entire flight. They are in search of Carrion, in the event none is found they will settle for what they find. Crows employ the “Broken Wing” ruse while flying, not all of them do it but in each group there is at least one. Flying along one bird will fold up its wing and fall earthward appearing to be lifeless. They fall to a few feet of the ground; recovering they return to the mob in the rear and begin the display once again.

They are intelligent birds and cautious as well. Three years ago the Mob was perching in the big Pecan Tree 30 feet from my large window. I grabbed my camera to get some photos of them, but I had to find a better place to get a clear view. I moved from under the deck cover to the middle of the walkway to the Levee; it was about twenty feet. While setting up my tri-pod and camera a few of them flew overhead cawing. Not thinking much of it I continued setting up, when the birds returned to the Pecan Tree the entire group flew off. I did not see them again until this past October, they were gone for two plus years.

It was at the height of Duck hunting season, I suspect they may have thought my setup was a Shotgun. Unfortunately they are shot at continually by hunters. I don’t have the ability to know what they are thinking; I don’t believe humans are smart enough to get inside the heads of any animal let alone an intelligent bird such as the Crow.

I don’t compare Crows against Ravens, although they appear to be the same they are distinct and separate species with their own behavior patterns.

Jacques Lebec Naturel Self Reliance

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