A spot of good news, at last!

When the crow failed to show up for dinner, yesterday evening, I was sure he must have died, but nope! He’s just popped by for lunch, and I’m glad to report he’s looking somewhat better.

As long as he's still eating, one might hold out hope!

As long as he’s still eating, one might hold out hope!

I mean, you can see he’s not a happy crow: he’s all bunched up, and his feathers aren’t looking so tidy. He ate weakly and slowly. But he was sitting on the feeder, today, instead of lying in it. His eyes were bright, where before, they were gummed nearly shut. And when he took off, he jumped over the railing, instead of crawling under it. He didn’t do the usual takeoff bounce (where he jumps up on the railing, then pushes off with a mighty leap into the sky), but that might well be a good sign — a sign he’s learning to compensate for his injured leg.

I made an executive decision not to try and catch him, this time (or even to approach, for a better look). I wanted him to eat as much as he could, undisturbed. Frightening him away seemed like it might do more harm than letting him go.

Here’s hoping I see him again later, or tomorrow!

No update

How frustrating — I’ve seen the broken crow only once, today, and it was being chased round the garden and pecked by other crows, at the time. Poor thing looked dreadfully tired. It was flying with its beak open, but not making any noises. It was probably out of breath, from being chased so much. Eventually, they chased it out over the water, and I lost sight of it. I hope they didn’t catch and kill it. I hope it didn’t fall in the water and drown. I’d rather hoped its little crow friends would be feeding it, not bullying it. Wild rats do that, for each other — bring food, if one of them’s under the weather: wee pre-nibbled ratty care packages. Not the most delicious-sounding treat, I must say, but I’m sure the recipients are happy enough.

I tried rigging up a box trap, so I could grab the crow if it did turn up, but all I managed to catch was a rather irritated finch. (There wasn’t enough room to balance the box securely, and it dropped down at the first hint of a breeze. The finch happened to be dining, at the time.) So I let the finch go, and hid the box under the window, instead, so I can grab it up quickly if the crow comes back, and just…toss it over. Of course, I can’t imagine it’s too likely I’ll see that crow again. Its friends were really after it with a vengeance. Perhaps that’s their idea of mercy. And I suppose it would be quite merciful, if there weren’t other options — it’s a bloody nuisance, birds not understanding English. I mean, can you imagine how much easier birding would be, if you could say to them “Ey, you over there — yeah, you, with the striped head. Would you mind turning a bit to the side? It’s just, I can’t tell whether you’re a song sparrow or a savannah sparrow, from this angle. Ah, there we go. What a spanking yellow stripe you do have! Magic. All right, come on and have a treat. Got some seed for you; yes, I do.” Or if you had a camera along, you could tell them exactly how to pose, or explain what the shutter click is, so they wouldn’t find it startling. You could tell the gulls it’s fine if they use your feeder, as long as they shit off the side of the balcony, and leave at least half the seed for the other birds. You could tell pigeons you’re not going to hurt them, then have a nice pigeon pie. (Just kidding, with that last one.)

It’s terribly frustrating, having the means to solve a simple problem, and not being able to explain what must be done.

If that crow does make it back to my balcony, I’m going to try blinking my eyes at it, as I creep up on it with my box. I read somewhere that birds read a steady gaze as threatening, and that they blink at each other before doing social things. Maybe it’ll think I want to play, or eat suet with it, and not fly away. (A bit unlikely, but, hey, it’s worth a try!)