Wednesday, August 24, 2011
Crows can be scary. Perhaps that's why a large group is called a murder of crows rather than a gaggle, as in geese. But even though they can be intimidating, especially in large numbers, they really are quite entertaining. Very intelligent too.
Every night around dusk, a rather large number of crows begins to settle in. They spend about an hour circling some large elm trees in my neighborhood. They squawk and caw all the while, until a decision about which tree and which branch will do is made. Then with the dark comes the quiet. They rise early too. Sometimes, when I arise before 6 a.m. I hear them begin their day. It's not quite like their evening routine, but they're easily heard.
Throughout the day they continue to entertain. In my neck of the woods it doesn't help that one of my neighbors feels it her duty to throw crackers and bread all over the roof of her garage from time to time. They descend fussing with each other, taking off in all directions with mouthfuls of these doughy scraps. Often they drop half of what they originally had. The squirrels are waiting below and quickly police the area. I've noticed they coexist nicely. It's a regular scene from Bambi on occasion.
From time to time a rather new-agey woman wanders through my neighborhood talking to the crows. She tells me she knows them all by name. Her names? I know they recognize familiar faces because I've read and seen news stories about the University of Washington study a researching professor did wearing ugly Halloween masks. They knew and trusted his face and when we wore the masks they went nuts! A crow voicing displeasure is a thing to behold.
Yesterday, I saw two crows land on a telephone wire outside my window and nestle up to one another. Then they kissed. I don't know what else to call it. I know a kiss when I see one.