June 22, 2012

Birds of a Feather


Himself:  Letting last year’s baby crow get to him.

Herself:  Went to store meeting.  Complained about sorters.  Ah well.  Since there’s going to be a garden special, I was asked to removed the shelf of gardening books to storage.  Breakfast: beans, coffee.  Lunch: half sandwich, baby banana, olives.  Dinner: Veggie gratin, baked potatoe, grapefruit and avo salad.

Reading:  The fifth Dan Rhodes mystery.  They sure have some interesting characters in them.

Balance:  Took a nap not at the computer.

For years a crow family has had a baby near our condo.  For several times a day they are very noisy as they cry to be fed.  We haven’ minded.  Frankly it’s been interesting.  Then last year, the baby crow was born with a voice that sounded like a duck….a raspy duck with a half baked voice. 

We weren’t really fond of having a duck making noise outside our bedroom windows.  But we got used to it thinking it would go away at the end of summer.  No such luck.  It reappeared this year rasping its way into the Geezer’s consciousness all day while he works.   After dinner he kept muttering that he wanted to know the lifespan of the crow.  Amazingly, our giant bird encyclopedia didn’t have that information.

From “All about Crows/Life History,” I learned some facts that discouraged the Geezer and I found fascinating.  During the winter, crows “congregate in large numbers in winter to sleep in communal roosts. These roosts can be of a few hundred up to two million crows. Some roosts have been forming in the same general area for well over 100 years. In the last few decades some of these roosts have moved into urban areas where the noise and mess cause conflicts with people.”

How about the fact that, “American Crows do not breed until they are at least two years old, and most do not breed until they are four or more. In most populations the young help their parents raise young for a few years. Families may include up to 15 individuals and contain young from five different years.”

There’s more.  They are highly susceptible to the West Nile Virus and die within a week of contracting it.  Carrion is only a small part of its diet.  They eat anything.  Most interesting to me is the fact that they make and use tools.

The geezer was appalled by the fact that “The oldest recorded wild American Crow was 16 years old. A captive crow that died in New York lived to be 59 years old.”  Imagine, if we have this family living here in perpetuity, G will have to listen to that baby crow for the next 2 to 3 years as it helps it’s mom raise the next generation.  The newest baby sounds normal, by the way. 

Now Imagine that I will have to listen to his complaints for all those years.


  1. Warning about crows. I tried to "dislodge" a crow from my deck in Normal Heights, and the flock attacked me for two years. They even ate the weatherstripping off my patio door!

  2. Don't tell the Geezer but I find this story amusing. I do however have some sympathy for the Geezer. In Texas our neighbor had a live oak tree where large numbers of Grackles gathered in the spring to nest. They're also loud and have an annoying call.

  3. Captain Poolie is so right in that they do hold a grudge. Somewhere on the channels there is a nature show about crows and it is fascinating. They are very smart birds! They gang up on our poor red shouldered hawk frequently.

  4. I predict next year may bring more babies, one (or possibly more?) of which will undoubtedly inherit the raspy duck voice. G could consider getting hold of that WN virus but? No, I kid you! Really, I'm a big kidder! Interesting bird story I must say.

  5. haha. That last line made me laugh.

  6. Tell G I said "Don't mess with the crow." They have very long memories and will get you if you annoy them. Crows are one of the smartest birds and they can learn to talk. Be careful what you say around them.

    Happy to hear you are being so good food-wise. I made cookes for David and then ate a few. Boy they were good, but mostly useless calories. Dianne

  7. He's not going to mess with the crow. He'd rather listen to the voice skewed crow than the hundreds of parrots.

  8. hmmm, any consideration on leaving some tainted corn out there?

  9. It's my understanding that crows can recognize human faces. So G better be careful. They may start to target the one who hates them.

  10. They are indeed very intelligent birds. Best to have them on your side. ;)

  11. Great blog post! thank you so much for the share.


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Peter in front of a wall sculpture. We were invited up to Peter Knego’s home to see the latest installation.   Abstract flat ...