Saturday, August 15, 2009

Our birdy neighbors

I'm hearing a lot about crows all of a sudden.
A friend posted to Facebook this morning about being woken up by crows; and a few weeks ago, an even more erudite friend posted about watching a murder of busy crows.
Last week, I needed to make a private phone call at work, but the moment I sat down on the stone bench behind my building and pulled out my cell phone, a bunch--sorry, murrrderrr--of crows began a chorus of raucous cawing and jeering. I moved down to another a bench, and they hopped along the grass, continuing to harass me. I gave up finally and went inside to make my call.
Scientists study crows and yet we know so little about them.
I see what I think is the same crow sitting on a power line most mornings when I walk the dog. Sometimes we get a croaky caw greeting. Sometimes, just a sideways beady-eyed glance.
And then this morning, as I waited in line at Irwin's for a pumpkin muffin, a guy entered and stood in line behind me. A space invader, he stood too close, and reached over me to grab a handful of dog biscuits from the freebie cup on the counter. And then another handful. I feed these to the crows, he confided to me. A fifty-ish guy, with gray stubble and Ward Cleaver glasses. The crows know me. When they see me coming, they fly in from all over. I said, joking, You're the crow whisperer, but he didn't laugh. Apparently he takes his murder of crows quite seriously.

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