August 14, 2014

Speaking of Crow

I didn't have time to append a Crow story to my recent post that showed his image alongside a blue heron (it's a few posts below this one). But now I do have the time, so here you go.

Crow, for the uninitiated, is my friend in the yard. He's a male crow who has a mate and two offspring. The four travel in loose circles together and I feed them every day. Lotsa peanuts. Crows (and just about every other creature that passes through my yard) adore peanuts. I guess I've been feeding him for about three or four years. I'm sure he still murders innocent little birds for food, but he sure does enjoy those peanuts. Gotta have a balanced diet, you know. And crows are predators. I can't blame him for his murderous ways. It's just what crows do.

Anyway, when I leave the house, Crow often follows me. As soon as I exit the door, he flies overhead in a big, showy swoop and calls down to me. He follows me as I walk, flying to the nearest tree. And all the while, he caws sweet nothings to me. This goes on for as long as I'm out there, including for 20-minute walks. Crow always stays by my side. (This amazes my sister, who walks with me.)

Recently, Crow added something to his repertoire. The new trick involves his knowledge of when I'm heading for the mailbox. I guess the time of day tells him that. The mailbox is a ways from my house, so the cawing and his habit of visiting nearby trees goes on for a bit. But here's the new behavior. He flies to the mailbox when I'm still 100 yards away, and sits on the ground at the end of the driveway, right beside the mailbox. His body is pointed my way and he simply stares at me.

When I get close, Crow flies away. Even after years of me being nice to him, he doesn't fully trust me. He'd never let me get too close. Nor does he let me take his photo (very often, anyway). If you point a device at wild animals, they all seem to think it's a gun. I've seen this behavior from many species. You can look at them, but don't point anything at them. They're not stupid, despite what people think. They seem to suspect that any human device is a gun. I assume they've had extensive experience with humans shooting at them.

Crow's antics are cute. I assume he does these things to recognize me for all my help. In his crow head, he thinks this is an appropriate way to say thanks. And I guess it is, since I enjoy it very much.

Animals are so much smarter than we think. It kills me that people don't get that.


Artichoke Annie said...

People don't get a lot of things.... but I am happy to personally know a crow whisperer.

I've never been shot at or spent really any time at all around guns. But I did have a police officer draw his gun and point it at me once and order, "come out of the house, NOW".

Scared the shit out of me, I mean really scared me.

The offense, accidentally setting off the house alarm where I was working and not having the code to turn it off.

By the way, it happened to be the St. Louis County Police.... just saying.

writenow said...

Quite a police force you've got there. The one here is awful, too. They feel they must scare everyone they talk to. I swear, police militarization has become a new American nightmare. And of course, the rightwing nuts love it. What is wrong with those folks? Hi, Annie!

writenow said...

There's so much hate, and it comes from both sides. That's never mentioned in "polite" company. I don't know about you, but I never liked polite company at all.

Artichoke Annie said...

For way too many years I politely kept my mouth shut at a racist joke or some snide remark. I no longer do that.

An "ex-friend" loved sending racist Obama jokes to me. I told him one day I didn't appreciate it and that I thought he was a racist.

He was offended. omg, seriously?

writenow said...

Good for you. And by the way people, feel free to talk about anything you want here. Any post is fair game. Tell us stuff. This is your big opportunity!