As an avid birdwatcher, I had little regard or interest in the American Crow - I considered them plain in dress, common in population and uninspiring in manner or content. Those views did not, however, stop me from enjoying the crow family that has been visiting my backyard for years (they used to take turns teasing my napping dogs by plucking hair from the kid’s tails.) …but I had it in my mind that crows were nothing special as far as the world of birds go, no colorful dress, no musical voice, no fancy dance or habits, just boring black with a ‘CAW!’ that could crack a mirror.
I have written a blog or two about my common neighbors, the crows, as the family tends to leave me gifts of beautiful stones in my birdbath. I love the anticipation of waiting to see what has been left for me. What does a crow consider a beautiful stone? Although the other day one of them left a bun of some kind in the birdbath and that was a fairly gruesome find since I didn’t know what the heck it was and had to poke it a couple of times with a stick before discerning it was an innocent water-logged piece of bread. (When something is in a place one doesn’t expect to see it, it is interestingly unrecognizable.)
Needless to say The Family Crow has become very comfortable in my yard. They have taken to helping themselves to the cat food I leave out for my feral kitties; they do not take just any old piece of cat food however, they pick out the salmon-flavored bits only. (You know the ones, the pieces made to look so appetizing to our own palette even though the animal could care less.) Apparently though plain, common and uninspiring, crows are quite picky even when it comes to thievery but I remained unmoved in my original assessment.
Then something happened that required a change of mind.
A few weeks back we had a spring-like day…I say ‘a’ because it has since not been too spring-like…anyway, I had my kitchen door open so the music of the yard and breeze would drift through the screen. I was doing some mundane task, dishes maybe, I don’t really remember, but I heard this tapping and I looked around to find the source. Tap. Tap. Tap, tap.
It was coming from my back porch. So I walked over and who should be ‘knocking’ at my kitchen door but one of the crows. Bold as you please, he taps on the screen then gives me the one-eyed side glance, hops about for a better view of the kitchen, and taps again.
Being that I’m an animal communicator and seeing that he was so forward, I asked if he would like to come in.
I got a very distinct ‘Is there more crow food in there?’
Now, he could have said or gave me a vision of the food or seeds, but he sent me a picture of himself and the bowl of cat food. He KNOWS what he looks like; he knows who he is and that is a pretty interesting case of self-awareness which science uses as a guideline to separate humans from other animals. Perhaps science will also have to consider a change of mind.
I am still a birdwatcher, but now when I see the American Crow I see a whole different bird- a thinker and questioner, a confident trickster who knows who he is, what he wants and how to get what he doesn’t have. Once I decided to throw out my expectations of what the crow was going to be, I found a bird that was anything but common.
Did You Know?
Crows mate for life.
Last year’s children help raise the next year’s generation.
The average wingspan is over three feet!
They are permanent residence and do not migrate.
American crows do not immediately leave their parents. Most children remain closely tied to their family unit and do not leave the nest permanently to breed until 4 or 5 years of age.
The offspring of previous years will help build the nest of the parents to help welcome a new generation.
They are very social and intelligent. They have been known to have some family members distract an otter while other members steal the fish, then share the bounty.