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Monday, May 17, 2010


For the past several days, it has literally been raining crows in my yard.  A mated pair built a nest in the large fir tree in front of my house, and this week their young have started to fledge.  As is usually the case with fledgling crows, they have been jumping out of the nest before they are fully capable of flight.  One by one they have been making their little leaps of faith, after which they end up on the ground looking stunned and bewildered as if they are amazed to discover how large the world beyond the nest really is.  Since the nest tree is not far from the road, the young crows have been landing in dangerous territory.  In order to give them a fighting chance of making it to adulthood, my wife and I have been picking them up and moving them into the lower branches of a cedar tree in the backyard.  Although it has proven successful at keeping the fledglings out of the road, this course of action has done nothing to endear Julie and I to the parents of these youngsters.

So now whenever Julie or I leave the house we are met with an angry chorus of caws and a rain of small twigs and other debris from above.  There is no way to tell the adult crows that we were only trying to help, and that their offspring have a much better chance of survival now that they are not 10 steps (or hops) away from paved instant death.  It is a classic case of misunderstanding, but one with an interspecies twist.  Fortunately, crows are not capable of breaking off large enough branches to do any real damage when they drop them on our heads, so the barrage from above is more amusing than dangerous.  And to be honest, since I regularly drive my car and am in part responsible for creating the danger away from which Julie and I were moving the baby crows, perhaps I deserve a twig or two dropped on my head to remind me of the impacts of my choices on the wild creatures around me.  All I know is that as I sit here and write this I can hear the familiar, turkey-like noise of a young crow being fed by his parents coming from the cedar tree in my back yard.  That is worth far more than any inconvenience having a twig or two dropped on my head could possibly cause.

1 comment:

  1. ALL SMILES!! :D Way to defend your babies from the big bad baby-touchers, Crow Family! Another wonderfully told story, Kevin. :0)

    Kristin K.