Thursday, February 14, 2008

American Crow Pair Sentinal Eating and a Mending One-Eye Eats on His Own.

10:16:07PM Two American Crows are eating something under one of the Spruces. The bird on the left, with the slightly straighter-- more pointed beak, has just taken a turn. Note snow on beak

10:15:19PM I'm discovered by both birds, even though I am in the house with no back light. Not hard at all for a Crow. They are always human wary as they are very smart. Add that to their sharpness of eye and the fact that the timer on the camera beeps, and I don't have a chance. Whatever is is they're having for brunch must be terrific because they don't take off.

10:16:53PM The bird on the right with a slightly more curved and perhaps thicker beak poinds like a jackhammer on a piece of frozen ground beef near his toes. Note increased snow on his beak. Then they stare my way. I'm still in the same spot therefore things still seem okay.

10:17:02PM Curved beak goes for it again with gusto. Straight Beak keeps her eye on me.

10:17:14PM Straight Beak keeps watch not only on me but on something to the west.

10:17:24PM Straight Beak's turn to pound the frozen food for chunks, while Curved Beak stares fixedly at the house.

10:17:34PM Ten seconds later they're both going at it. The food has split into two portions, Curved Beak has the larger chuck and carries it a few Crow paces away from Straight Beak.

10:17:54PM Curved Beak chews away. Straight Beak sees that Curved Beak has moved the rest slightly away from her. She stares, waiting for him to finish his bite.

10:18:12PM Straight beak then has more from her piece while Curved Beak keeps watch.

10:18:18PM Something distracts both birds from the food. They look NW.
10:18:28PM Straight beak turns WSW and focuses pointedly. Curved beak continues to focus NW..
10:18:39PM Straight Beak appears to see something coming and takes to the air in its direction. Curved Beak bends down, gets the frozen ground beef in his beak, flips it up, and with amazing coordination, jumps up, gets food in his beak and takes flight all in one move.
Why the tricky move? Is it easier to take off without the extra weight. But the meat only went up a few inches. Interesting. I've never seen them do that before. Did Curved Beak need a better grip on it with his beak and that was the quickest way?
Having taken their meal with them, there is no reason to return. I don't see them for the rest of the day.
11:39:00PM One of the "One-Eye" squirrels appears at the feeder. This guy seems to have had an eye infection that is on the mend as the eye is now fully open instead of being stuck shut. There is still some matter in the eye but he's obviously using it to keep tabs on me
11:39:44PM He too has those handy protruberant eyes for a very wide field of vision.

11:40:48PM Which doesn't stop him from going for the full view stare when pausing before the next sunflower seed. I have the feeling that some of the neighbor's are chasing the squirrels from the neighborhood feeders. It isn't making them particularly shy, just more wary of humans. Certainly can't hurt.
Donegal Browne

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