Wednesday, December 17, 2008


People seem to have a visceral dislike of crows. I have never understood this. True, they are as black as a starless night, and their "song" has as much charm as the neighbor's car alarm. But have you ever watched crows playing with the wind? I cannot think of any other way to describe their flight on gusty days.

I've also noticed that the wing beat of crows somehow lacks the urgency of other birds, kind of a "Dude, I'm flying, don't bother me" type of flapping. Crows don't seem to be too worried about our unkind reaction to them.

Kenn Kaufman notes that crows will carry hard-shelled mollusks high in the air and drop them on the ground to break them open. I once watched this behavior practiced on a walnut. The crow repeatedly flew up in the air, dropping the walnut on the pavement in a parking lot. After several attempts, I took pity on the bird, walked over, stomped on the walnut, then withdrew. Moments later, the crow returned to gobble up his prize. Did I see a nod in my direction as he swallowed?

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