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Wednesday morning, 6/11/03, we heard a crow - which isn’t unusual, since we feed the crows in our front yard and have water there for them always. This crow call sounded different, somehow. I walked by the front door to go into the garage, and at that moment, the crow flew at the window and then down onto the front step. He stood there and cawed at me. I called Larry to the door (quietly) and we watched the crow, down on the porch step. He just kept cawing and looking at us. He is an immature crow - recently fledged, I think. Larry got a crust of bread and a pan of water and we sat on the porch feeding him. We spent about two hours out on the porch with the young crow. Later, I sat on the step right at the door, and put some bread crumbs on my knee. He jumped up there onto my knee, and pecked off bits of croissant I held in my hand. During the afternoon, the crow perched on the back of a porch chair, looking in the window and calling to us. I believe it is a good omen.

Thursday morning the crow came back to the porch. I took him some bread – I didn’t have any gourmet crow food in the kitchen, such as worms or road kill. He stayed here most of the day, flying off now and then to pursue other matters. He seems completely unafraid of us, and the dog doesn’t seem to bother him much.

Clavo (our dog) is jealous, and sometimes whines when we interact with the crow. We have named him “Caw.” Not a very innovative or clever name, but it functions. There are always some crows nearby, and we don’t know, of course, whether or not they are the parents of this juvenile. He seems a little stronger today than he was yesterday. Just before darkness sets in, there is a huge murder of crows that fly into a tree about 1 block north of our house. He does not show any interest in joining with them. We think he roosts or nests in a tree across the street from us, but we are not sure.

Friday morning Caw arrived around 7 or so. He was hungry – and needed a bath. We provide a fairly large container of water for the birds – they use it as both a drinking fountain and a bathtub. (They don’t have much “class.”) He likes to walk around on the front porch, and he pecks at almost everything he sees. He pecked at a freckle on my leg, and the next thing I know, there is blood – his beak is very sharp and very hard. He likes to pull the hairs out of Larry’s legs, and he has broken Larry’s skin a few times, as well. Additionally, he likes to sit on Larry’s shoulder, say “caw” right in his ear, and then climb up into his hair. He sits on Larry’s head and appears to groom him like monkeys do. He follows us if we walk anywhere – to the mailbox, which is a distance of the width of two houses, and to get the paper at the foot of the driveway. I sometimes “dance” with him, and he follows that, too. He has sat on my shoulder, too, but then he pulls at my earrings, and I don’t like that. He, like so many of us, is quite fond of the diamonds. He is not toilet trained. He has pooped in Larry’s hair and on his back, as well as on our porch furniture.

Saturday morning, Larry took him some toast or something, and then came into the house for a minute, leaving the front door open about 4 inches. The crow walked into the house, stopping for a minute on the rug inside the door. I was in the kitchen, fixing breakfast. Caw flew into the kitchen and landed on the island. Of course, I got the food off there in a hurry. I harbor the belief that wild birds are filthy creatures, infested with many types of vermin, and I certainly did not like him in my kitchen. From the island, he flew to my head and I didn’t like that very much, either. Larry removed him, and we enjoyed a good laugh at the nerve of that bird!

It was Tommie’s birthday, and I made a cake for him, then we drove over to his house. We didn’t stay very long, but while we were there, Larry and Tommie dug some worms to bring home for Caw. (Larry dug in our small garden space, and there was not one worm! He was persistent in his search, which gave me the opportunity to suggest that we plant some tomatoes and squash!) That after-noon when Caw came over to beg, Larry put some worms down for him and he ate them with relish. I don’t mean pickle relish – he enjoyed them greatly.

We still put food on the lawn for the big crows, and anybody else who wants to join in the meal, and it seems strange to me that Caw has no interest in the adults. He does not like the sparrows, and chases them away when he can.

Sunday, he showed up early in the morning and spent most of the day here. He tried to get into the container of worms, and part of that activity was removing the rubber band that held the paper over the top of the jar. Of course, he made short work of the paper jar “lid” by pecking at it until it tore. Larry removed the rubber band and put it down on the porch floor. Caw has spent, literally, hours playing with the rubber band. We have read about crows, and it is said that they are very smart and very curious.

Dan and Esme came over last evening, and while Caw was a little bit wary, he accepted food from Dan. We hope that his lack of fear of humans does not turn out to be a danger to his life. Not everybody likes crows. Some people think they are evil – sort of the same feelings they have about black cats. I think this guy is a good omen. I already said that.

Today is Monday, and he is out in front flying around and squawking. We are having dinner with Dan and Esme tonight, and Larry will get some worms for him to enjoy tomorrow. We anticipate that he will outgrow us, but he returns each day. We have the hope that he will soon be able to take care of himself without begging; meanwhile, it is a lot of fun to have a pet crow.

Addendum 7/10/03: Caw is still with us, and seems quite smart. When we feed him, he frequently will stash some of it in strange places, for retrieval at a later time. We have made some toys for him. A length of plastic tubing with colorful beads on it, another length of tubing with a bright red fastener on it, and an assortment of rubber bands. He frequently will select a little pebble or stick of wood from our shrubbery beds and bring it to us as a gift. He perches on the coiled hose hung outside the kitchen window, and on the front porch windows where he can see into the living room. He likes to be petted on his back, and makes sweet little sounds when I do that. He likes it for about five minutes, and then gets impatient and wants to jump at my arm or shoulder. He sometimes gets on the floor of the porch and tugs on my tubing,*** moving it several inches in one direction or the other, then goes to another part of my tubing, then moving it, too. When Larry waters the lawn, Caw likes to play in the water. He seems to love to bathe. There is water available in two containers, always, and he likes that, but seems to prefer playing in the hose. (***I require supplemental oxygen which is delivered via nasal canula and 50 feet of tubing.)

We read that crows don’t mate until they are about four years old. I guess that they start hanging out in crowbars at that time…

Today is August 11, 2003, and Caw is still with us. He visits three or four times each day, beginning at about 6:00 a.m. or so and then he comes to say “good night” and then heads to his bed. We still don’t know where that is. One of our neighbors occasionally sees him in their back yard. They always shoo him away.

He has grown substantially since he first came to us. He also seems to have developed bumblefoot on his right foot. That is an inflammatory ailment which is suffered by nearly all types of birds, including chickens. We put neomycin on it once each day. He doesn’t like it much, but it hasn’t kept him from coming to visit us.

Today is my 72nd birthday (March 31, 2004). Caw seems to have left us. We hope he is hanging out with other crows, eating well, and living the good life.


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