We have quite a population of them in my yard, thanks to Fred. He has a little sparrow house on virtually every post of the privacy fence. All of them are occupied, and today I saw little head with wide open mouths sticking out of the doors as parents frantically tried to fill all those beaks.
I also have a crow’s nest in my big evergreen. The location is quite obvious, due to the splotches on the sidewalk below. Yesterday evening, a youngster got out of the next and was hopping about on the branches. His parents were absolutely frantic. My grandchildren and I were outside watching the little bird, and the two adults were going through all sorts of antics to try to distract us from him. They were also very unhappy when my cat came out into the yard to see what the fuss was about.
I enjoy the crows a great deal. I know they are scavengers and carrion eaters, and not exactly what people usually invite to their feeders. But these crows are also accomplished mimics and I’ve enjoyed them a good deal. They can do a ratchet turning absolutely perfectly. It makes me think Fred is out working in the garage. They have evidently also been listening to someone practice on a stringed instrument. It sounded as if someone was tuning something up in the tree yesterday. Their mimicry is not perfect, but it may be a banjo.
They’ve learned that I will feed them if they make a fuss. So, if the dogs are ‘selfish’ and eat all their kibble, the crows come and sit on the fence right outside my kitchen table window. I’ll be trying to read the morning paper, and they will wait until I glance out, and then open their wings and squawk about how they are poor starving birds until I give them a torn piece of bread. I know that if I don’t, they will spend the morning dive-bombing my regular bird feeder to set it rocking enough to spill seed on the ground.
This is the first year they’ve had a nest in my tree. I am wondering if they will keep it for next year, and if their hatchlings will build nests in the tree as well.