Either there’s a plague of spattered crows at large, or my mucky visitor’s cleaned up his act significantly, since this morning:
Is this the same crow, after some intensive preening, or a completely different crow? Though crows can tell one human from the next, all crows look the same, to me. If it’s the same one, ha-ha, it missed a spot. (Though, how it would clean its own beak is beyond me! It can’t exactly use a sponge.)
In other news, the crotchety old man’s been at it again — the one from the other day, that is, who doesn’t like geese on the lawn. This afternoon, I was photographing a lovely northern flicker, and didn’t he burst out of NOWHERE, and shoo it away? I didn’t get a single worthwhile shot. What a prat. I don’t like him one bit. Since I don’t know his name, I’ll refer to him from this day forth as Ilya Nikolayich Dolgonosov. I’ve picked this name because a) he likes to stick his nose where it’s not wanted, and b) I don’t think he’d like it.
A northern flicker, stuck to the wall
This crow stood and preened and preened, and scraped its beak against the railing, for nearly fifteen minutes — and still left as mucky as it had come. I’m not entirely sure what’s all over the poor devil, but it looks most unsavoury. (I’m guessing either bird lime or bird vomit. It’s about that time of year, when the new crop of crows starts pecking its way from the shell, isn’t it? Perhaps this was the result of a catastrophic feeding accident.)
Poor grubby fellow!
I wonder if I’ll get to see any tiny crows, new on the wing? Last autumn, I noticed some that were clearly heading into their first winter, still a bit browny-feathered, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen a really young one, still learning to eat by itself, and so forth. I’ve spied loads of wee sparrows and finches, trying their first seeds at my feeder, but never a little crow. Maybe this’ll be the year.