Thursday, June 23, 2011

New Kids on the Block

Last week I spent a day digging out the rockery in front of our house, all the while serenaded by the loud squawks of one or more of Bertram and Corvina's babies. Yes, the long-awaited time had finally arrived, heralded by lots and lots of noise.

Once baby crows get big enough, they leave the nest and start walking around on the tree branches, flapping their wings to strengthen them. Looking down from a height and not yet being able to fly must make them feel very insecure, and they let the world hear about it in a manner impossible to ignore. If you're not sure what a young crow sounds like, just imagine an exceptionally loud and obnoxious "crying" babydoll.  
WHAAya. WHAAya. WHAAya. WHAAya. WHAAya. WHAAya. (Repeat indefinitely)

One of Bertram and Corvina's kids.
That afternoon, for the first time since March, Bertram and Corvina both perched on the wire overhead. I was working right next to the railing where I usually put their peanuts, so I put them on the ground a few feet away instead. The crows swooped down and snatched the peanuts, their nesting-period shyness completely gone.

Each day after that, I closely watched the vicinity of the crow's nest, hoping to catch a glimpse of the youngsters to get an idea about how many there might be. Saturday I spotted one on the neighbor's roof, Bertram and Corvina anxiously hovering nearby. Later I saw two of the young crows in the tree branches. Tuesday I was rewarded with the sight of three of them on the next-over fir tree from their nest. Yay! They're flying! Bertram and Corvina were spooning on a telephone wire a few trees away, probably relieved to be having some quiet time to themselves.

My friend Sam, was just reading the stories about Bertram and Corvina and shared a crow story of her own, which I thought you'd enjoy. Here it is:
My brother and sister-in law (Louise) live in Ellensburg. They found a hurt baby crow in their yard and brought it in and took care of it until it could care for itself. Louise would feed the crow daily and talk to it. Wow that crow was noisy! When she felt the crow could make it on its own she brought it outside and let it go. The crow always recognized Louise and her kids. They would walk to the park which was about four blocks away and crow would be there and would land on their heads. This went on for a long time. They are amazing. 
 Thanks Sam!

Updates: A day later I looked out the front window in time to see all three young crows fly from one tree to another, and there was an awful lot of flapping and fluttering going on. They've a lot of practicing to do before they'll be able to fly gracefully! Then today (about a week later) Bertram and Corvina showed up at my front steps with one of their babies, who quickly learned about where peanuts come from.


Bad Jones Rising said...

The corvine bird group is a grand one. Ibwould love to see pictures of these birds! They are usually so mysterious, you are lucky to see such a neat bird at such a young age.

Megan Seagren said...

I do have a few photos, Bad, but unfortunately not of the youngsters. They haven't gotten close enough for a good shot. Also, the adult crows have been very wary about my camera. It's interesting. I try to be very inconspicuous, but as soon as they see it, they fly off. I have gotten a few shots of them, which I can post.