Friday, March 30, 2012

Bold and Shy BAD Report

Bold and Shy up on Mt. Veeder have a bad report from our former next door neighbors.  They have been hanging around their property (actually Bold and Shy think that it is their property).  The neighbors put out some straw in the vineyard to keep the weeds down.  The ravens have been down in the straw looking for seeds.  There must be a real shortage of food this winter for them to go after such little seeds.  They have been sitting on the railing of the neighbors studio building and pooping on their decking and sometimes pecking the building.  I wonder if they think someone is in the building and they are trying to get their attention.  They used to hang on the window frames of my home to get my attention and FOOD.  If the food supply is very short this year there may not be any raven babies this spring. I will have to watch and listen for the next several months.  For some this will be a blessing because the babies are really LOUD, but I loved them.
My crow friend is here every day now.  He hangs out in the trees and watches for me in the morning.  Today I put out some chicken trimmings and he was very happy indeed.  I cut it up in crow sized pieces.  I am so accomodating and it is nice to have bird company while I work in the garden. There is nothing like a lively corvid for company.

Saturday, March 24, 2012


It appears that I have acquired a crow friend.  Yesterday I was working in the garden in the backyard when I started hearing this odd sound coming from the redwood tree which was over my head.  It was not a repetitious sound, each sound being unique and fairly loud.  I thought maybe it was a squirrel.  We have alot of squirrels that run all over the yard, up in the trees and across the roof.  I could not see into the redwood tree as the branches and leaves are so thick.  Therefore I backed up so that I could get a better perspective on the location of the sounds.  Low and behold!  It was a lone crow.  He was doing what the ravens used to do when they watched me work in the garden.  He would make some clicks and clacking sounds, then wipe each side of his beak on a redwood branch.  Then he would pull on a small redwood branch and break it off and make some more unusual sounds.  I couldn't believe it- the crow is a small sized raven and just as curious and noisy!  He watched me for a very long time.  I finally went inside and got some peanuts for the platform feeder.  This was his treat and a thankyou for keeping me company in the garden.
Since crows are such communal birds, I wonder why this one crow seems to know me and watch me.  Maybe he is the sentinel for his group.  Perhaps he is watching to see if I will bring some food out and then he lets the rest of the group know that dinner is served!  I don't know.  What I do know is that this crow shows up when I go outside to work, he hangs out, and talks to me in fun and unusual sounds.  What a treat for me.  It is nice to have company in the garden while one works away planting seeds and weeding.  I wonder what Mr. Crow will think when I finally get around to planting the FAIRY garden.  I hope to attract a Fairy or two and perhaps Mr. Crow will be able to see them and talk to them also.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

The Clarion Crow

I have a crow who comes every morning at about 7:30 AM.  I call him the Clarion Crow.  He makes alot of noise to let me know that he has arrived and it ready to EAT!  This crow has a white spot on his tail and on one wing, so he is easily recognized.  Once I have delivered the food to the platform feeder, he lets all his buddies know that chow is available.  The crows like to sit on the top of the green arbor which is near the feeder.  They sit and look and check it out for some time before they fly over and light on the feeder.  I feed them the same foods that the ravens on Mt. Veeder liked.  Raw chicken eggs, left over meat scraps, old crackers, left over cat food, trimmed chicken fat, black oil sunflower seeds, peanuts are all food that the ravens liked.  Usually the ravens would go for the meat and fat first.  The crows usually go for the peanuts first.  The ravens and crows have similar behaviors.  I watched a crow try to stuff 3 peanuts in the shell into his bill at once.  A raven could have done it.  The crow tried mightily but could just manage 2 peanuts at a time.  He seemed quite disgusted.  The crows are getting used to me.  I talk to them and they watch me and do not fly off like they use to do when I go outside to join them.  The other day when I was working in the yard the Clarion Crow was up in the redwood tree over my head.  He started clicking and clacking, making sounds very similar to the sounds that ravens make.  The crow sounds are at a higher pitch but clicking and clacking away.  It was so nice to hear that sound.  I don't hear it very often from the crows.  I wonder why? Later that day the stealth raven flew in to grab up a big hunk of chicken fat.  He is still around but wary due such a raucous bunch of crows in the neighborhood.
It has been raining the last couple of days.  This has caused Redwood Creek to start running again.  I love to listen to the creek music- so much like my days on Mt. Veeder.  I am lucky down here- I have large redwood trees and a creek nearby- it is not so bad living in the valley when I think about it.  There are benefits, close to grocery stores and NO wood moving and the Clarion Crow.