Friday, June 18, 2010

Crow Murder, Robbin Death: Call of the Wild

I was outside after dinner tonight. I was helping my wife pack the car before returning to the job that never ends despite the fact that it's deadline is fast approaching.
I was putting some things in the car when the noise of birds squawking, trilling, crying and cawing really caught my attention. I looked up at the neighbor's roof and saw a murder
of about 5 crows along the ridge line pulling something apart (I finally figured out why a crow flock is called a murder...).

I realized quite quickly that it was a small bird. It was gory even from my vantage point and the downy feathers of the fledgling were blowing down the roof onto the grass.
I let out an "oh wow!" as my daughter came out of the house and she of course looked up and I tried to block her eyes as I told her that the crows had raided a Robbin's nest -- the parents were flying all over and goign crazy, screaming, as a Robbin does, at the crows -- as a parent I can empathize with their reaction. As I came around the front of our car, I almost stepped on another fledgling, sitting in the grass. It must have been grabbed and dropped in the raid. The neighbors came out and my sons and wife came out and we all saw varying amounts of the scene.

My daughter got upset, she's my animal lover, and said "we need to save the baby bird," which stymied me for a minute. I took a large empty flower pot, filled it with some pine needles and put the bird in there. I told her that this may not work and that the baby bird's chances were "not so good." I put the pot up in a tree, wedged in some branches, close to the original nest, and hoped the parents would return. The parents were flying all over and calling out and basically going crazy, but I figured they'd calm down and realize where baby 2 was. I've been watching the adults for the past several days hunting down the worms in our yard like crazy and flying into this tree stand. The chicken may be the closes living relative to the T. Rex, but it's got nothing on the Robbin which is really an exceptional hunter.

The Robbins calmed down, we moved away from the pot and the baby bird started to call. Before we knew it it was struggling out of its pot to sit on a branch, and the parents brought it some food -- I saw one sitting on a phone wire with a worm, as my family pulled away. I don't know what will happen to the fledgling. My daughter is very concerned, and I promised to check on the Robbin family in the morning. My eldest boy, and second oldest summed it up best, as I comforted my daughter, saying, at one point, "nature is nature." I thought, yes it is, and it isn't it amazing to see it in all its sublime splendor in the suburbs of Boston as a murder of crows raided a Robbin's nest.

Posted via email from TedVilla

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