Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Life with Crows

I have been visiting the ravens up on Mt. Veeder about once a week just to hear their chatter and to see them do their acrobatics in the air.  It is always a thrill but my life is with crows at the present.
A few weeks ago I was driving in my neighborhood and I saw a young crow walking down the sidewalk dragging one wing on the ground.  I felt so bad for him, so I parked the car and got out to look him over.  He tried to run away from me and ran under a bush.  I looked around for something to put him in.  I asked a couple of neighbors if they had a box I could use.  They looked at me like I was crazy.  One lady slammed the door in my face.  So much for helping nature in Napa Valley.  So I got a sweater that I had in the car, got under the bush and carefully wrapped the sweater around the crow.  It was amazing how little the bird weighed.  I then drove to my vet's office.  They told me to go to Silverado Vets where the wildlife rescue group would pick up the bird.  They were so nice at Silverado Vet.  They came out and collected the bird who was now sitting on my dash board.  He had not stay wrapped up in the sweater very long.  The wildlife rescue called me later and told me that they had him in a wing wrap.  That was the best I could do and to make a donation to the Napa Valley Wildlife Rescue.  It was rewarding to know that there is a group that cares for injured wildlife.
I now have a crow friend.  The crow comes every morning about 8:30 AM.  He used to come earlier but I told him NO NO- too early- NO peanuts at 6:30 AM.  He now comes at 8:30 AM regular as clockwork.  He sits on the rose arbor and waits for me to see him.  He used to crow and make alot of racket but I told him NO NO- too much noise.  Now he sits quietly and waits for me to appear.  I then throw out a bunch of unsalted peanuts in the shell.  It is then a free for all- crow, blue jays and squirrels appear like magic.  Mr. Crow can only stuff two peanuts in his bill at a time.  He flies off and comes right back for more.  Meanwhile the jays and squirrels are cleaning up the peanuts, so I put some more out so crow gets his share.  It is fun to watch.  I know the jays must have a sentinal who watches for the peanut lady because they are there in a New York minute when the nuts are thrown out the door.
I can now go out the door while the crow sits on the arbor. He used to fly off but now he stays put to see what I am up to.  He is nosy like the ravens on Mr. Veeder.
The other morning I heard alot of crow racket.  I looked out the front door.  I saw crows sitting on either side of a hawk up in my neighbors big cedar tree.  They harrassed this hawk until it finally flew away with the crows in pursuit.  I used to see the raven pair do the same thing up on Mt. Veeder.  Crows and ravens really do have alot of the same behaviors.  Too bad Mr. Crow can't do the acrobatics in the air like raven.  I guess their wing span is just not large enough.  Mr. Crow has to flap his wings alot to get where he is going but crows are cool, there is no doubt.  And so we have our daily meet up with peanuts.  It suits me just fine.