Some Good News

I confess. I have been hoarding a small bit of good news.

First, because I didn’t really believe it could be true.

Second, in a year with so little good news, I felt sharing it might be a jinx, leading to me having to give you bad news later (which no-one needs.)

The second reason still stands, but I can’t keep this little nugget of joy to myself any longer. Time to celebrate the small good things as they come along!

Drumroll, please . . . I think Marvin and Mavis, after 3 years of failure, may have finally achieved parenthood!

Our immediate neighbourhood has not heard the gurgling/quacking sound of a baby crow in some years. Raccoons, eagles and simple gravity have stymied Marvin and Mavis’s efforts time after time.

And, of all years, I hardly dared think that 2020 would be the one in which they’d  finally luck out. Apart from losing a big part of their habitat when the poplars disappeared in June, they’d already built and abandoned three nests in other trees before I lost track of their nesting activity during the construction chaos.

So, when I thought I heard baby crow sounds just outside the house in early July I wrote it off at first as wishful thinking. Or maybe a baby crow from elsewhere that had  flown off course on an early training flight.

But I heard it the next day too. And the next. Finally I saw this small face peering out of the tree in front of our house. Then this happy scene in the weeping birch across the street.

The “direct deposit” feeding method.

Now, small caveat: with all the upheaval going on in our neighbourhood, it is just possible that this is some other crow family taking advantage of the chaos to move in on Marvin and Mavis’s turf. All of the crows are behaving a little differently and varying their daily routines — partly due to the rigours of nesting season, and partly due to the suddenly changed local ecosystem. Other crows have been popping by from time to time, but judging by the regular appearance of these two and offspring,  I’m 95% sure this is Marvin, Mavis and family.

Anyway, I am trying to stop myself from feeling like a besotted new grandma. Unchecked, I could easily start knitting tiny crow-sized bonnets for this youngster.

As it is, I’m out several times a day taking photos. “See how adorable s/he is?” “Isn’t this absolutely the cutest little fledgling you’ve ever seen?” ”

One of the first “baby” photos — July 9

Such a good eater!

Strong family resemblance!!

I had all but given up on such good news for Marvin and Mavis this year. In the days after the poplars came down I often saw them sitting together on the construction fence assessing the devastation.

But somewhere, I guess, they had this little newcomer tucked away until rudimentary flight skills had been achieved.

Things could, of course, still go badly wrong. The survival rate for bird fledglings, including crows, seems to be 50-50 at best. Every morning the first thing I do is go outside and anxiously listen for the tell-tale begging sounds.

A few days ago, parents and baby came to hang out in the Katsura tree in front of the house for a couple of hours. One of the summer’s highlights so far!

So far they haven’t brought junior into the garden with them when they come for their breakfast, but I’m hoping they may do so soon.

Baby in the background

Parenting is a tiring business …

Worrying about a baby crow is a good exercise in taking one day at a time. Here is junior yesterday looking for interesting things in the gutter (a reminder to check around your car before taking off too quickly at this time of year!)

Checking out a wide new world

Here’s my most recent photo (I told you there’d be lots!) taken this morning. The blue eyes are changing to grey now and more adventures (much nail biting) are being undertaken.

The video below, also from this morning, captures one of the things that make crows so very entertaining to watch.

Who among us, human parents or kids,  cannot relate to this little exchange?





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23 thoughts on “Some Good News

  1. Oh such happy news! Best of luck to Marvin and Mavis raising their shiny new crow. Thank you for sharing this- s/he is marvelous!!

  2. Another remarkable story filled with love and hope! Many thanks for your observations, photography, insights and charm!

    Warmly, Chris

    On Mon, Jul 20, 2020 at 5:08 PM The Urban Nature Enthusiast wrote:

    > The Urban Nature Enthusiast posted: “I confess. I have been hoarding a > small bit of good news. First, because I didn’t really believe it could be > true. Second, in a year with so little good news, I felt sharing it might > be a jinx, leading to me having to give you bad news later (which ” >

  3. June you made my day! It’s Wednesday morning here in Sydney, Australia on a cold but sunny Winter’s Day. Such wonderful
    News and baby raven is just adorable!
    “ Leave me alone Mum, Mt feathers look perfectly fine and yes I did take a shower this morning! Promise!” 🤣🤣
    I wish you were here to see our magpies and currawongs and hear they beautiful chortling and trilling song. Just gorgeous and it makes me want to skip! I know what! How about you guys come to Oz and stay with me when travel opens up? You won’t have accomodation costs and I can show you various birds we have etc. Just use my place as a base and travel all over! June please seriously think about it. Life is so short! I think life should be a daily adventure!
    Huge hugs, Hiranya from Sydney, Oz xxx

    • What fabulous news! Gorgeous photos and commentary of course! Nope no jinxes at all. Just blessings galore on the little family. 😊

  4. Goodness, this is BEST POST EVER. And that bonus video. Like when human moms spit on a hanky and wipe their kid’s face LOL – ”
    you ain’t getting away till I’m done!”

  5. Warms my heart. We have a pair of twins driving their parents crazy in our trees and around the hood. Begging is driving all of us crazy..

    So glad your pair got to this point. It is a huge task in the dark world of today.

    A little light in our crazy times. Thanx!!!

  6. I held my breath and then … what wonderful news! Seeing Marvin, Mavis and their baby brought a tear to my eye – in a good way. You could almost hear the ‘don’t be so embarrassing/just sit still/arrgh’ refrain in the video.

  7. Wonderful news! It’s good to get besotted now and again! That video clip is terrific- goes right straight in the sentient being “more alike than different” file ❤️

  8. Wonderful news June. Fabulous photography and your way with words brings a lot of joy in these different times😍

  9. Loved it, so adorable. So much joy but worry is justified. A pair on my street had three that fledged, one disappeared shortly afterwards. Up until last week there were two. I haven’t seen the second one for a while, but I remain hopeful. I see one regularly , who seems to be thriving and exploring the neighborhood. As you say, full of squawking, begging, sounds.
    Hope your grand fledgling keeps doing well. Congrats to Marvin and Mavis.
    Some of my grandchildren also have feathers!
    Thanks for great pics and stories. A post from you that made my day.

  10. This is such wonderful news June! You really made my day as I have been heart sore about the poplars being cut down by the cement jungle maniacs. The same here is happening in Australia too. They truly are the scourge!
    The video and the pics are just gorgeous. I loved the video! “ Yea Mum I have combed my hair and yes I did shower this morning! Sigh!” 🤣🤣
    I wish you were here to see our beautiful
    Magpies and Currawongs and hear their beautiful songs. Why not come and stay with me here in Sydney, Australia when travel opens? You don’t have to worry about accommodation then and use my place as your base and travel all over! Life is short June and here is an amazing opportunity! I live on my own in a large home so it’s no problem! Think about it and let me know ok. I can show you our wonderful nature and you guys can do your own thing too.

  11. This a wonderful news. I’m so happy to hear this and happy for Mavis and Marvin, kiddo and you! 🙂 🖤

  12. I so enjoy your heartwarming posts, thank you! Every night at 9 o’clock the crows of Vancouver fly overhead (in North Vancouver) on their way to their nighttime gathering in Burnaby. I thrill to watch it.

  13. What wonderful news, and it came along at just the right time! Hope the little family is doing very well, and that you are thoroughly enjoying your watchful grandmahood. May everyone thrive!

  14. Oh what wonderful news! Loved the video at the end! Hee Hee! I look forward to seeing more photos and stories of Marvin & Mable’s fledgling! There are some babies in our neighbourhood too. One in the tree right next to our building. I love hearing this young one in the morning. He/she has learned to fly from the family tree to the power lines in the alley to wait for breakfast, lunch, dinner and all the snacks in between!

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