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
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