Hop-Along Hank

Sometimes I wonder if there’s a crow memo circulating, directing slightly invalided birds to my place. There’s George Brokenbeak and also Hop-Along Hank.

Hank walks with a limp because of a problem with his right foot that he’s had for as long as I’ve known him. Flying is no problem for him, but I can spot him on a roof top from quite a distance because of his distinctive stance, favouring the sore foot. That and his slightly hooked beak.

Hank and Vera have been around since last spring. I wrote about them in an earlier blog, Here’s Hank, charting their failed effort at parenthood last year. I have a feeling that Hank is one of Eric’s offspring. Eric has seemingly ceded our backyard territory to Hank, in favour of a superior nesting spot in the tall poplars at the end of the street.

Hank and Vera paying an early morning visit. You can see Hank's slightly deformed foot on the far right.

Hank and Vera paying an early morning visit. You can see Hank’s slightly deformed foot on the far right.

Now Hank and Vera and George and Mabel vie for my attentions. The four of them often sit together peaceably on the wires in the alley, but as soon as there are peanuts, it’s game on. The two pairs will never cooperate and share the food. Much ferocious cawing and occasional dive bombing ensue if I put nuts out when both couples are nearby.

We seem to have worked out a more or less harmonious system where Hank and Vera come first thing in the morning. George and Mabel take the later shift, coming later in the morning , and sometimes in the afternoon too, for a last minute snack  before the nightly journey to the Still Creek roost.


Hank (left) and Vera (right) vociferously stake out their claim to the peanuts.

Most of the time, Hank doesn’t seem too bothered by his foot problem, but when the weather is cold and wet, I sometimes see him standing forlornly on one leg.

Hank the crow stands on one leg

Another one of Hank’s characteristics is that he seems to like to yawn. I don’t know if crows actually do yawn, but he often opens his beak very wide without any sound coming out — so it looks very much like a yawn.




Hank’s limping gait gives him a rather model-like pose. Auditioning for a part in Zoolander 3?

Hank Close Up

So, this is Hank, as I know him. I’m sure Vera could tell some tales too!

And I’ll be writing another Vera update soon.

And, for those of you wondering about Eric — he’s still fine. I just saw him in the leafless poplar trees, swaying gently in the wind, from my dining room window.

logo with crow


11 thoughts on “Hop-Along Hank

  1. I will send a few crows your way, June,ailing from afflictions or not. It seems most of the crows in my neighbourhood and a few others from gran. Isle
    have discovered a continuous food source every time I set foot outside my door. I will soon have to disguise myself or I may get arrested for disturbing the peace!,

  2. Hi..
    For some reason, I haven’t seen much of the crow family so far this year. The magpies are being their usual comical, beautiful nuisance, the goldfinch are trying to take over the yard, and this year I have a funny little nuthatch that I’ve enjoyed on a daily basis for several weeks now. Of course, the squirrels, mourning doves, and quail are like family. But where are my crows? Get to the point that I worry about yours if you don’t blog often enough! Actually, I could read a daily update and I’d never get bored, but I do realize you have a life!!! The smell of spring is in the air, plants are popping up, others budding – my very favorite time of year!
    Diane Spellman

    • Hi Diane – I love hearing your descriptions of where you are and all the wildlife. You should start a blog! Really! I do know what you mean about worrying about the crows. If I don’t see George for a day, I tend to start fearing the worst. I envy you your nuthatch! I don’t think I’ve ever seen one. All of the hellebores are coming up in the garden. I have a bit of a hellebore obsession. Memo to self. Do not, repeat, do not go to the special “new hellebore” sale and the plant store this year. Also, carpets of snowdrops. The hellebores and snowdrops always remind me of my mother. All the best, from my garden to yours, June

  3. June,
    I’m 65 years young…will you adopt me? I want to live your life!!! You have a life I’ve always wanted.
    Just keep me up to date on my favorite birds, the crows. And that will have to do. ( I have about 10 of your photos that surround me and keep me happy and peaceful) Thank you, Jude

    • Hi Jude, Thanks! You sound very adoptable! Should a vacancy arrive, if and when any of my adult kids move out, I’ll keep you in mind! 😉 But seriously, thanks for you very kind comments and I will certainly try to keep you up to date on the latest bird shenanigans!

  4. I so enjoy your crow family. Makes me feel less weird that we have named our regulars too. Keep George going! He is a survivor but needs a little help at times.

    • Thanks so much. I’m always happy to hear from others who name their birds too, making ME feel a little less weird. Mind you, I have now reached an age where it doesn’t really bother me how peculiar I seem. Also the neighbours have known me long enough to ignore me wandering about and talking to the birds – all of them, not just the crows! George doing AOK for now – I saw him yesterday and he’d looking pretty glossy and well kept for a half beaked crow!

  5. Pingback: The Dog and Crow | The Urban Nature Enthusiast

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