First there was Eric. Then there was Hank. Now there are Hank and Eric and Vera and Eric’s mate and some babies. That’s a lot of crows for a small area, but they seem to have worked out a way to keep things civil.
They key is that certain rules have to be adhered to. Eric and his family have the run of the front street and the large poplars at the end of the street.
Hank and Vera rule the back garden and the alley. They still seem to be tending to a nest in a big tree in the alley.
Harmony exists as long as no-one forgets to cross the unseen borders. If they do – holy moly, there is trouble.
The other day Hank was on his usual perch on the neighbour’s roof when Eric came a-calling. After all, the back yard used to be Eric’s domain, so I can see how he might be confused. I was photographing Hank at the time, so I was able to catch the instantaneous transformation from relaxed, rather gormlessly sunbathing crow — to puffed-up (look how big and scary I am!) tough-guy crow.
I can easily tell the difference between Hank and Eric because Hank has a rather distinctive “over beak”. His top beak curves over the bottom slightly. They engaged in a few minutes of angry cawing and a touch of dive bombing action before Eric relinquished the territory to Hank.
It’s lucky the trouble was short lived — because Hank really seems to enjoy just hanging about and soaking up the sun. Here he is later that day doing some more sun bathing on the studio roof. He likes to relax with his beak open and wings spread out. He’s a real West Coast, laid back kind of crow.
He probably does yoga when I’m not looking. Actually, I think I may have caught him a hula hoop practice in this picture.
I am getting quite fond of Hank and he is getting less nervous around me, and therefore a more willing model for my photographs.
If you’d like to hear more about what goes on with the local crows on a daily basis, check in at my Facebook page.
I post lots of pictures there and keep you up on latest in the ongoing crow soap opera.