I’m going to tell a story about a crow, today — but first, I must revisit one of the characters from my last entry: the dreaded Jerky Birdie. I’ve endured rather a festival of them, today, all out and about and determined to misbehave. On the list of shame, we have:
Exhibit A (not pictured): an invisible bushtit. This bushtit has mastered the art of not being seen. And me without my dynamite! I could certainly hear the wee rotter, though — peep-peep-peep-peep-peep-peep — I swear, it was laughing at me.
Exhibit B (also not pictured): a nearly-invisible bird, of unknown species. This bird has not quite mastered the art of not being seen, but might as well have, for my purposes. I saw its head. I saw its tail. I saw part of its wing. I saw a flurry of general browny-grey birdishness, as it fluttered from one tree to another. I think it might’ve been the treecreeper I’ve been waiting for, which makes it doubly frustrating: I never really got to look at it, get an overview, sort of thing. I considered crossing the street, to see if I could sneak a peek from underneath, but I didn’t want to frighten it. Unlike the hummingbird from the other day, it wasn’t terribly high up. I could probably have reached into the tree and grabbed it, if I crept close enough. A bird can get a real fright, when a person invades its space that egregiously.
Exhibit C (surprise! not pictured!): three mallards bothering a bufflehead. Wouldn’t it be awesome if I had a boat, so I could cruise the harbour, breaking up duckfights? That bufflehead would’ve thought I was Batman. Batman in a boat. Boatman. Wouldn’t it be awesome if I was Batman? Woah….
Exhibit D (pictured!!!): a chickadee, reprising the role of photographer’s bane, to not-so-great acclaim.
Exhibit D: gulls. They’re not doing anything particularly jerky, here, but they are gulls.
All right. You’ve made it this far–time for that crow story.
A few weeks ago, I was out for a walk, when a crow landed near me, on the pavement. This wasn’t terribly unusual, of itself: the crows here are bold almost to the point of obnoxiousness. I ignored it and kept walking. It hopped along behind me, looking up at me all the while, almost…expectantly. I told it to go away, which, of course, it didn’t understand. Then, it made a noise I hear a lot in the early mornings, before I’ve filled the feeder–a sort of…plaintive, throaty sound, not quite a caw. More of a churbling, like a giant pouched rat makes, only not as high-pitched. It occurred to me that the crow was begging. Of course, I didn’t have anything for it. I don’t walk about with a bag of birdseed, in case a crow happens by and fancies a snack.
But a question did cross my mind: had the crow recognised me, and associated me with breakfast? I’ve read that crows are capable of distinguishing one human face from the next (really!). Is it so farfetched to imagine this one knew me?
At any rate, it followed me nearly all the way to Leg In Boot Square, before giving it up as a bad job. I wish I could tell one crow from the next, so I’d’ve known if that was one of mine.
And that’s another reason birds are for everyone: there’s a chance they kind of like you back, or at least find you a reliable source of treats.