Sunday, February 25, 2007

Bringing in the Crows: Crows-4 Me-0

Crows 4, and me- nothing? It's a long story. As I'm housebound, no, it isn't the weather, though we just got four more inches of snow today to go with the previous foot or so, It is a relative who wants to sell all my Mom's things against her wishes, she's still alive after all, if I don't hold the fort. That is remain in, and I mean that quite literally, the family house, so the Dickensonian relative can't change the locks, sell the house, and Mom's stuff before the Will is produced or the court date comes round.

What can I say, some people boggle the mind and as a matter of principle I don't believe bad behavior should have lucrative consequences.

Therefore I'm here, in the house, looking out the windows.

And I keep seeing the crows go by----

The Milton Crows are always going, they're always doing, but where they're going or what they're doing or an even better question from my point of view, WHY they're going and why they're doing, remains shall we say, extremely elusive. Just like the crows. In the days before video, and all the techno bird spying equipment we have now, we really didn't know diddly about the species.

As I can't follow them all over creation at the moment-------

I've been attempting to lure the wily, extremely intelligent, ever vigilant crows into my observation area with "goodies".

This is the closest I've gotten one to come and stay still long enough to get a photo...the bench is about 100 yards away.

First off, what might tempt a Crow in the way of goodies?

The original "goodies"

The first two days I tried an orange and ground beef.
Hey, it's the middle of winter I thought perhaps a little fruit might be enticing. Not a chance.

The crows absolutely prefer the raw beef. But they didn't prefer it enough to let me see them take it. Though there were several landings next to the stump I observed. So far they caw as they're about to arrive. (Calling in the others to share? Or is it, "MINE,MINE, MINE"? One of the things I want to find out for myself. As they're adaptable what happens in another local might not be what happens here. Just like we've found with the Red-tails.) Upon hearing a CAW, I race to the kitchen, creep into the far back of the kitchen. I might add, in the dark far back of the kitchen, and look all the way through the kitchen and out the glass patio doors. No matter what, they see or hear me and it' beady look at me and , flap, flap- they're gone.

Yes, I've tried waiting them out. So far their patience is far better than mine. I've begun to wonder if they've discovered a way to see me lying in the dark on the floor while I don't see them. Reflection off the glass?

So attempting to be cagey and find something they'd be more impatient to eat, on the third day I put out this.

The second goodies.

A rather large wad of thinly sliced ham...left over funeral meats which seemed apropos for crows. (Don't freak out. Here in Wisconsin there is always a meal served after a funeral. In the old days people still had to ride back to the farm in a wagon after a funeral so it was polite to feed them so they wouldn't be downright famished by the time they got back to their farms. If anything it was slightly less attractive to crows but more attractive to Blue Jays.

The crow in the picture who seemed to be looking at something held in his feet immediately looked up with I pushed the button the camera.

Can he really hear the not very loud klee, klee, klee of the camera timer from a football field away?

I can't see anything in his feet. ???

I click the camera and his head goes up again.

Someone ate all the ham today while I wasn't looking.;
Somehow I have a feeling he's laughing.
(The newest goodie was placed on the stump just before dark. It's a large piece of dried out cooked tenderloin. Hopefully it will be too heavy and too tough to grab a large chunk and fly away with it. Perhaps they'll only be able to peck a bite off at a time and remain longer on the stump so I can see their interaction with each other.)

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