Crows in Snow

 

The last few weeks of “crazy-for-Vancouver” snow has given me the opportunity to do one of my favourite things — photographing crows in snow.

So much snow!

So many crows!

In the snow!

Consequently I’ve been spending most of the extra time I gained by closing my shop for the holidays trudging about in sub zero temperatures taking pictures.

The house is not cleaned for Christmas dinner or anything like that, but I DO have lots and lots of snow crow photos. I think the 2024 City Crow Calendar may have a  disproportionate number of winter scenes!

Now, as quickly as it arrived, the snow is melting in great rivers of less-than-photogenic slush. A perfect day to stay inside and write a blog post.

But, what’s that you say?  it’s Christmas Eve??? Yikes.

Still so much to do, so it’s going to be a picture heavy post of Crow Snow Angels and feathery festive good wishes to you all.

Snow-weighted bamboo blocking a local alley way

Marvin and Mavis hanging out in the snowy snowbell tree in the back garden

Mavis testing the edibility of the snowbell seeds

White Wing in early December — the day after this photo was taken, she lost her distinctive feather, as she does regularly

 

By mid-December, White Wings feather is starting to show again

The Walkers at our appointed meeting place

Pearl and Echo on their usual corner

 

Fluffy feather pantaloons are deployed to keep crow legs warmer in the freezing weather. I’m often asked how their feet don’t freeze. It’s because bird feet are mostly bone and tendon, with few nerves and also because they have a special circulation system, described here by Birdnote.org

Have you ever watched ducks walking around in freezing temperatures and wondered why their feet don’t freeze? And how do birds, including this Northern Flicker, sit on metal perches with no problem? Birds’ feet have a miraculous adaptation that keeps them from freezing. Rete mirabile — Latin for “wonderful net” — is a fine, netlike pattern of arteries that interweaves blood from a bird’s heart with the veins carrying cold blood from its feet and legs. The system cools the blood so the little blood that goes down to the feet is already cold, so the birds don’t lose much heat. The small amount that goes to the feet is likely just enough to keep the feet from freezing.

A touch of Nordic noir yesterday morning. Hard to believe how much warmer and wetter it is today!

Some crows keeping their eyes open for Santa …

Hope Santa makes it to your house and merry wishes from all of us at ours!

The “more is more” school of festive interior décor!

 

 

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25 thoughts on “Crows in Snow

  1. Thank you for crows in winter, June. I experienced a strange phenomenon a couple of days ago and wonder if it is something you wish to discuss in your next email to us all, as you may have experienced this yourself: Since it was so cold and so much snow I brought snacks out in the lane for the crows, and it is remarkable how quickly crows were alerted to the loot! Soon there was quite a number of crows, perhaps 15 of them, snacking on my grains and peanut butter chunks. At one point they all seemed to make quick, high sounds while pecking at the food in their midst. However, as I looked closer I saw a black disheveled bundle, and as I quickly moved so close that all crows flew up I looked at the black bundle left: It was a crow!!! Left alone it stood up, feathers seemed to align, and it flew away! I was, and I notice the feeling is still there: shaken by this seemingly bullying of one crow by all the rest!?
    Merry Christmas, June and all!

    • I don’t really have the scientific background to guess what was going on here. It might be more up Kaeli Swift’s alley, but if I were to hazard a guess it could have been some sort of territorial dispute or (and this chills me to the bone) it could be something to do with the appearance of avian flu in the crow community. Before Christmas it was confirmed in a couple of dozen of dead crows found at the roost. I wonder if this behaviour might be crows sensing sickness and near death in a fellow crow.

  2. Thank you so much June for this post and your Christmas wishes. You have made me smile with pictures of my favorite crows. All the very best to you and yours. Love your dogs too!🎄🎄

  3. Great photos June! I loved the mirror photo as it looks like a snow globe at first glance to me. Merry Christmas to you all and the house cleaning can wait, it’s time for a toddy.

  4. Thank you June for your wonderful posts, information and photos from your home and pets.
    Wishing you a wonderful Christmas and all the best in the New Year. Good health as well as life energy and motivation for everything that is important to you.

  5. I love your posts — every time. My mother died in 2006, but before she did she would say that she planned to come back as a crow. My mother was the smartest woman I ever met — no wonder she saw her familiars in crows.

  6. Oh June, you constantly enchant me with your brilliant photography and whimsical, educational blogs. Thank you. Thank you.
    Very best Christmas wishes to both you and Philip Gail

  7. Beautiful shots! Glad to see you got caught up….I felt like Christmas showed up suddenly this year too. Dogs are so cute! Wish you Merry holidays.

  8. Thank you June for your constant, amusing stories of your interaction with your neighbourhood family and your loveable furry family at home. I never cease to receive enjoyment from your daily interactions with all of them.
    Here’s wishing you all many more joyous days of daily events with these loveable creatures!

  9. I am so happy to have heard about your blog on CBC NXNW. Such tender and intriguing snow crow photos and also interesting writing. Thank you and Merry 12 days of Christmas season.

  10. I’m of the more is more school of Christmas decor myself.😂

    Your photos are gorgeous. So much detail. Love them! You always give me a laugh too.

    Merry Christmas to you, your family (furry and otherwise) and your crows!!🎅🏼✨🎄🎁

  11. Pingback: Crows in Snow – Urban Fishing Pole Lifestyle

  12. Such lovely, lovely photos! I absolutely adore Crows, so glad to have found your site. Your furry family are very sweet too! All the best for Christmas and the New Year.

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