Thursday, January 27, 2011

Crow Tricks-Chris, Carol, and Chris Crow Jr.

It' s late afternoon and Chris and Carol Crow perch in a spot I've never seen them use before. Are they sunbathing? Sentinel perches? But why so low?

Earlier while it was snowing, I looked out and Chris was scrutinizing the offerings on the Goodie Stump.

And he looked at the buffet for some minutes. This was the first time hestayed for any length of time when he was aware I was watching.

What he's currently looking at is snow covered chicken.

It's interesting. I also see Chris Jr. on the stump but rarely if ever see Carol on top of it. Her niche seems to be foraging around the bottom of the stump, walking around in the snow across the yard, and all the time she's keeping an eye on the boys and then she'll snitch what the other two have cached.

Perhaps Chris is attempting to figure the best angle to attack the chicken so that a frozen bit will actually break off. He gives it a bite. The day before he'd been carefully picking the small bits of red pepper out of the frozen noodles and
eating them.

Suddenly he looks around.

He steps on top of the chicken while holding a bit in his mouth. Still looking.

Chris Jr. flies in. Having come in so that Chris has had retreat to the other side of the chicken. Junior prods the chicken.

Chris gets back up on the chicken, Junior is still prodding the chicken, and then it appears Chris spits a piece of chicken back out. Something wrong with it?

The next thing I know Junior has given up on chicken after the spitting incident and is having a bit of cherry, as is Chris. Note Chris appears to be smiling. Nothing hostile, just an example of Crow tricks or is it Crow humor?

Perhaps Junior was just playing along because when Chris looks away, Junior grabs a chunk of chicken and flies away with it.

Chris continues to eat.

Then one foot possessively on the chicken Chris stares at me.

And he keeps doing it for several minutes and then-- he flies away.

Now we've come full circle back to Chris and Carol perched on the back log fence. She looks back at me.

Then she gently looks west. (Compare the side view of her beak with that of Chris' above. It is decidedly slimmer.) She doesn't appear to have the hyper energy of the other two. But when I look down at the camera for just a second and then look back up- she's gone. I start turning the scope towards Chris.
And just as I get there, he's OFF.

Donna Browne

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