Saturday, August 13, 2005

Crows and Their Sworn Enemies

Predictably, I have become more and more fascinated by the crows in my neighborhood. I've taken to feeding them little scraps of my breakfast on the weekends. Last weekend, I got to watch an adult feed chewed-up bits of croissant to a demanding juvenile crow. I fear I may be giving the crows heart disease...

(You can tell a juvenile crow is a juvenile crow because: It's slightly smaller, it's slightly browner, its beak is not as curved, its eyes are lighter, the interior of its mouth is pink, and its voice is kind of...whiny. And because when other crows have food, it squawks and hops around with its mouth open.)

The other morning, I was awakened at 5:30 or 6:00 by the crows making a huge racket and some other bird going "squee......squee" (you know, that classic bird of prey call?). When I left for work, there was a fluffy dark feather on my car. Later, I found a couple more in the backyard. Today at dusk, I heard the same "squee.......squee" call and realized it was coming from a crow-sized bird perched on top of a telephone pole. Based on the size and call, it's probably a sharp-shinned hawk. All those nature web sites (like ENature, which is super cool) say the hawk doesn't usually attack crows, but will fight them if they try to take its kill.

I saw the juvenile crow again today, and I may be imagining things, but I think it looked a little the worse for wear.

This could get interesting.


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