I’ve been thinking a lot about crow calls after being obliged to make my own rather terrible approximation of one last week — on CBC radio no less! I made an attempt at the most common of crow calls — your basic “caw!”
There are, of course, many more linguistic arrows in the corvid quiver — from their lovely gentle “rattle” to the sharp barking alarm call warning of eagles or other aerial danger.
I’ve written quite a few posts about the amazing language of ravens, but crows have some expressive surprises up their feathery sleeves as well.
In fact, just yesterday I heard one of the local crows making a new call.
It sounded rather like “boing,” but I think it may have been a crow version of the beeping sound of a reversing truck. Due to the huge amount of construction our neighbourhood has seen over the past three years, this noise may have been an influential soundscape element for this crow’s formative years!
This next crow lives near some urban backyard chickens and I think I detect a bit of a clucking overtone to their caw.
Finally, White Wing stole the show last spring with her dog woofing with really impressive cat meow finale.
So, if there is ever another occasion when I’m asked to do a crow impersonation, maybe I’ll go for one of these!
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4 thoughts on “Crow Goes Boing”
Lol so funny but so awesome how smart these little imitators really are!
I remember, years ago, we were out for a walk on Salt Spring Island. As we passed some trees, we heard
an oddly throaty “meowwww”, meowwww” coming from the trees. We were quite puzzled at first and wondered what a cat was doing, being up there in the trees. A closer look revealed not a cat, but a crow. I have always been intrigued by corvid cleverness, but that experience really shines in my memory.
I love hearing the various crow calls! I notice they do the rattle sound when the two mates are beside each other, quite often grooming each other. One time I heard a plaintiff crow on a light standard in my neighborhood crying for at least two hours! It sounded like a wailing baby and I was so sorry for him/her but I couldn’t help! Maybe it was a fledging who didn’t know how to get down. I missed it, but hopefully the parents came to the rescue. This was in Steveston, BC
The parents are usually around the young crows keeping an eye on things. I’m sure they were patiently waiting for the young one to gather the courage to try some beginner wing flaps!