MAINE MEMORIES: Five old crows, plus one

image credit: British Pest Control Association

by Evangeline T.

Hello and welcome to Maine Memories, little snippets of life from our home state.

Spring has sprung, and the weather is much milder. Keep your fingers crossed that snow season is finally behind us…there’s always something interesting going on outside when May flowers bloom.

For this installment, here’s a true story about some old crows and how they’ve been paying me regular daily visits.

Each morning, for the last 14 years, I’ve thrown two slices of crumbled bread and some leftovers out onto my driveway to feed five old crows.

Now, you might ask, just how do I know these crows are always the same and not different? Well, believe me, I know them, and they know me.

If I’m not out my door with breakfast by 6:30 or 7 a.m., I’ll hear them cawing. They’ll sit in a tall elm tree at the end of my long drive, screaming until I appear. And when I do, they’re happy and excited.

These crows are a kind of family. This spring, there were four, and I assumed the worst. Then I noticed one kept filling his beak with pieces of bread, and when full, he’d fly away, return, and do it again.

Later in time, there were five adult crows, accompanied by a smaller one – more than likely a youngster. Now, I understood. The crow flying off with food had been feeding his mate, while she was busy egg-sitting.

At first, the young bird stood off to the side and waited for the adult to bring him something. This only lasted a short time before he got the message. Hurry up and snatch the food yourself, or you’ll go hungry.

So, now there are six crows, altogether.

It’s interesting to watch their different breakfast habits. One will delicately eat a single piece, not moving around much. Another will gather three or four chunks in his beak, head for the elm tree, where he sits and eats alone. The third picks up three or four pieces, flies about six feet away, dropping most of them. He still eats a full meal, though! The others walk around, poking at what’s left and getting the most they can.

One crow has what looks like white paint all over a wing. He must’ve brushed against a barn that was being painted. I think it’s distinctive!

What a pleasure, watching them every day – six smart crows doing their thing and living a simple life to the fullest. They never fight or steal food, like other birds. They’re just one happy family of old crows, plus one youngster. I’m so glad they flew into my life!


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