Crows in my Yard

Crows in my Yard

This morning there’s a pair of crows cawing raucously all around my studio. Here’s why…

As I was about to open the door to my back stoop yesterday morning, I noticed a small crow sitting there. On the doormat. A strange sight. I considered if it might have hurt itself, but there were no windows it would have crashed into, and it’s an odd area for a bird to land in. But when I opened the door, the crow merely blinked, looked at me, and apparently wasn’t about to move.

My first thought was “Sick bird? West Nile Virus?”, so I called their hotline. They told me that unless the bird was dead, they weren’t interested. They told me to call back if it died, and they’d be happy to help. Well…uh, okay.

I’d seen injured birds perk up and fly away, so I decided to give it a few hours and see what happened. Maybe as the sun moved onto the stoop, the warmth would help the bird.

A couple hours later, the bird had moved just enough to get itself out of the sun and into the shade. I went up to it to say hello and to see if I could determine any obvious injury, but a loud cawing went up from the surrounding trees, and a couple of crows came swooping over, so I retreated.

I called the local Animal Control to see what they could do. Almost immediately a guy came out, armed with a net, a box and some gloves. I led him to the back yard, and as he picked up the small crow, the 2 vigilant crows from the trees swooped around us. “Get under cover”, he said, “they might peck at you.”

He examined the bird, and found no injuries. He explained it was a fledge, and he quickly spotted the nest it came from, in a very tall tree a few hundred feet away. He said that often Crow fledglings didn’t make it far on their first flight, and sometimes took a day or two to finally get the strength and gumption to fly back up to the nest. There was a risk of the young crow being eaten by a cat or some such, but that risk was better than taking the fledge somewhere ‘safe’, as the handling by humans would imprint it and doom its ultimate survival chances. So, he told me to leave the young crow alone, and that it should be off and flying in a couple of days. Sure, I’m cool with that.

This morning, I wondered if the young crow had already made its way home. As I opened my back door to go to my studio, however, loud and very close Crow Caws attacked my ears. I backed into the house. They were being very vigilant. I put on a hat, let them swoop out of sight, and dashed under the shade trees to my studio door. As I type, the Mom and Dad crows continue to caw. I can’t see the fledge anywhere from my windows, but I suppose the parents are making a noise to urge their young one to fly. Crows never sounded so sweet!

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