The Quietness of Crows

“Quiet” and “crow” are, let’s face it, rarely used in the same sentence.

We tend to think of crows as stridently outspoken and rowdy birds, bringing a racket wherever they go.

Crow nesting and fledging time can be especially raucous, with parent crows cawing wildly at fledglings, and at potential threats to fledglings; and the babies begging loudly and unreservedly for food.

Our attention is mostly drawn to them when they are being loud, but crow do spend a lot of time pursuing more secret, secluded and silent crow pastimes.

The large Katsura trees by our our house are never chosen as nest sites, but they do seem make for a perfect crow creche. Often, especially in the afternoon, Marvin and Mavis will come by with their babies and just chill for a couple of hours.

One of my very favourite things to do is peer up into those leafy rooms and see what exactly it is that they get up to during their “down time.”

Here are some of the things I’ve watched Marvin, Mavis, and this year’s fledgling get up to in there over the past few days.

Usually one crow parent takes the opportunity to go off for some “me time” while the other keeps a quiet eye on junior.

Parent on duty.

As the world roars along outside, Junior finds a number of things to pass the time in the peaceful green chamber.

There’s quite a bit of snoozing going on.

When nap time is over, it turns out there are a ton of other things to keep a baby crow amused in a Katsura. Playing with leaves is a lot fun, perhaps because the leaf stem looks just enough like a worm to be interesting …

Also bits of moss are quite entertaining. I imagine this is all part of the important “is this food?” learning that needs to be mastered in these early weeks.

The whole world is a classroom for a baby crow.

Then there’s a lot of s-t-r-e-t-c-h-i-n-g to do, preferably without falling out of the tree.

Risky shot of fledging undercarriage …

All those lovely new feathers need careful preening …

Baby M is a few weeks old now so their eyes have moved from that early blue colour to a soft grey now

Learning to be a “covert crow” just like dear old mom.

Mavis, model for Secret Crow image, 2017 … a definite family resemblance

And, of course, there’s trying to figure out what’s up with that strange creature down below with a camera.

Hope you’ve enjoyed this oh-so-quiet little look into the more hidden world of a crow fledgling.

Sneaking away now and maybe baby will go back to sleep and give mom or dad a little more time to regroup before things get rowdy again.

S-s-h-h-h ….



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19 thoughts on “The Quietness of Crows

  1. Crows have nested in my Katsura tree! lots of squacking when Im about in the garden. They parents do alot of washing of baby food in my pond. I dont have your wonderful ability to ‘see’ with your eye or camera their escapades, so enjoy very much your stories and images!

    • I always hope Marvin and Mavis might choose to nest in one of the two very big Katsura trees in front of our house, but they never seem to — although it is much favoured as a hang out spot for the fledglings once they’re out of the nest.

  2. Such delightful images of your dear crow friends, June!! I do enjoy your posts. They are such fun to have in my life– a truly bright spot in a suffering world.
    Dorothy G.

  3. Yesterday I was watching both the parents and this years babe having some mealworms before the babe went to try some take off and landing practise in the breeze. It was fun seeing the way the adults always had one watching the wean and the other getting food. Then they would take some spare food to the babe and the switch out. The little one would jump into the air from the ground and take a flap or two and try again trying to judge the way the wind moved at land level. Then move to attempting to land on a sloped roof or even riskier a branch on the tree. If they over shot due to some gusts, they have learned to fly up and try a different landing place. Summer school for crows is coming along well.

  4. I e-mailed your blog to my sister in Ontario and she said for me to tell you a Big “CONGRATULATIONS ” !

  5. Love watching your insight into the life of crows. I have a huge variety of birds in my backyard but rarely crows. I enjoy watching them raise their babies

  6. Pingback: Bongo’s Advice to New Parents | The Urban Nature Enthusiast

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