Friday, March 25, 2011


Yesterday in the late afternoon I was sitting by the window minding my own business and knitting.  It had been raining hard all day and was overcast.  There was a break in the rain and then it happened- a BIG BLACK BIRD landed in the platform feeder!  I couldn't believe my eyes.  I have had that feeder out there for months, always with an egg and black oil sunflower seeds in the tray.  This is the first time I have attracted a big black bird.  I was so excited!  After the bird flew away I went out to look- the egg was gone!  Oh happy day!  I have to say I am not sure if it was a raven.  I have some hope that it was a raven as I have noticed a pair of ravens flying over the house almost every day.  We must be on their flight pattern to various food sources.  I did not hear any vocalizations from the big black bird in the feeder tray and I could not get a good look at his beak.  I could not tell for sure if it was a raven or his cousin crow.  So I did what any sane? person would do, I ran outside and put another egg in the tray.  I sat down inside and waited.  By this time dusk was falling and the overcast sky made it very dark.  Hark- here came two big black birds who landed in the tray.  They pecked and ate the egg.  It was so dark I could not make out any features, so I am not sure if it was raven. 
I have been feeding a pair of crows with peanuts every morning.  They really like them  The blue jays always try to get the nuts before the crows can decide to come down and get one.  It is so entertaining to watch.  Those two crows know me now.  They must keep watch on the house as one or both show up when I go out to weed or take the garbage out.  It is fun to have bird friends. 
The gold finches are getting their breeding plumage.  I keep their thistle sock full and it is frequently covered with golden finches.  I wish the thistle seed wasn't so dear.  It is costing me a fortune!
So goes life on the valley floor.  It is has been too cold and rainy to walk over to the close by Alston Park.   Alston Park is a big open area with a creek, walking paths, oak trees, hills and a dog park.  The park is adjacent to vineyards.  There are ravens over there which I enjoy seeing and hearing.  This maybe the home territory for the ravens that fly over my house.  Once the weather improves I will once again take my daily walk to the park.
This evening we are going up to Mt. Veeder to visit our former next door neighbors.  I am taking a care package for my raven pair- Bold and Shy.  If it is still light I may get to see them.  I stand in the street and yell RAVENS and if they are in hearing distance, they still show up.  I miss them very much.

Friday, March 4, 2011

New Crow Friends

My new crow friends, a nice black pair, come every morning and sit on the telephone wire.  The wire is just about even with the railing of the second floor of this home.  They have become very brave.  I put the food bits on the railing and then they hop right over to check out the days offerings.  I wonder why these crows are so friendly and fearless.  The crows around my home in Napa are very fearful.  It takes alot of checking out and peering and poking around before a Napa crow will come down and get a peanut from my driveway.  Something  in Napa must have scared them.  I saw a program on crows recently that showed that crows recognize faces.  In fact the next generation will recognize a mean face if it was recognized by the parents.  That is really fascinating.  Do humans do that??? 
We are here in Shell Beach for a few more days.  So I will enjoy the friendly crows and clean out the refrigerator at the same time.  They have liked left over chicken, pretzels, pecans and croutons.  Perhaps in time the Napa crows will get to know me and not be afraid.  I am also hoping that the Napa raven remembers me.  The raven came to my redwood tree twice before I left for Shell Beach.  Wouldn't you know that the raven would show up just as I was leaving for vacation????  I will get right back on the egg in the platform feeder patrol as soon as I return to Napa.  It has been a lovely sojourn here on the Central Coast of California.  A little of everything, sunny days, rainy days, very high surf, shopping, dining by the ocean and visits from friends.  All in all, everything a vacation should be.