Her Mabelness was the third crow in the City Crow Stories.
And now she is the hardest one to write an update about.
Those of you who have been following me for a while may have noticed I haven’t posted anything about her for a long while. Partly I kept hoping she’d reappear, and partly I was reluctant to share more bad news, however small, with the world seemingly awash in the stuff.
Anyway — Mabel was the crow I’ve known the longest, dating back to when she and George Brokenbeak were our “house crows.” She’s certainly the crow I’ve written the most about, following the her trials and tribulations with George Brokenbeak , and her survival and thriving after the loss of her mate.
George and Mabel’s love story is one of my most popular posts, and was even “stolen” and mis-told in a viral post that has been circulating for years.
Last spring Mabel seemed hale and hearty and preparing for another nesting season with her new mate. I took the next photograph of her April last year, not knowing it would be the last time I’d see her.
When she vanished for a few weeks, I didn’t worry at all as it’s normal for female crows to seemingly go AWOL for about three weeks as they sit quietly on the eggs in the nest.
But then May rolled around, and then June. The summer passed by with no sign of Mabel. What happened is a mystery and I just have to assume she went to join the great roost in the sky, where perhaps she’s reunited with George at last.
I still miss Mabel, the Queen of Frazzled — capable of looking dishevelled and yet regal all at once …
Apart from being a devoted mate to George, she was a pretty darned amazing parent.
Here are some of my favourite and oh-so relatable Mabel-being-a-mom moments from years gone by …
I will especially miss Mabel in the next couple of weeks when the pink plum blossoms appear on the local street trees.
The plum tree branches were always a favourite material of hers for nest construction. It was Mabel who was the model for the rather lovely and hopeful moment captured in Sky Messenger as she flew over me trailing a long garland for the nest.
Mabel was perhaps most at home upon her throne, inherited from George — a specific rusty yellow ring holding the chain at the entrance to the local school’s parking lot.
For a long time, only Mabel was allowed to perch there.
I noticed in the year before she disappeared that she’d occasionally permit her favourite offspring to take a turn. Perhaps she knew they needed to practice that regal pose.
I assume that one of the crow couple who took over Mabel’s corner includes one of those favoured heirs.
They’re certainly carrying on the Mabel tradition of confidence and sense of place.
One of the new pair is prone to making a beeping noise, something like heavy machinery backing up. So talented!
So here I present Mabel’s descendants, exalted inheritors of the golden ring — Beeper and Bopper.
More crow updates coming soon …
For a history of Mabel’s amazing life:
- George and Mabel: A Love Story (2017)
- George’s Tough Year (2016)
- Mabel the Matriarch (2020)
- The Mabels (2020)
16 thoughts on “Mabel: A Requiem”
The loss of a dear friend, no matter the species, leaves a hole in your heart. With no closure in knowing for sure, it’s made more bitter. So sorry to hear the sad news.
Dear June, Your crow and raven stories bring me so much joy! No doubt because of the love you have for those amazing birds. I’m a “bird nut” myself and I write a bird column for the local paper. I plan to write a 2-part column (or maybe 3??) on Corvids. As you might very well imagine, I don’t know where to start!!! Do you have any suggestions, reference material, or anything else that would give me the push I need in the right direction? I would greatly appreciate any suggestions you may have. Thank you for sharing your love and passion for Crows and Ravens.
What a beautiful remembrance for your friend.🌸 Side note: I recently went to a wildlife refuge with my kids. There was one crow being cared for. He said “hello”. I was blown away. My son didn’t believe it (because he wasn’t close enough to hear it at the time) even after volunteers confirmed the crow did, in fact, know how to say hello. They are amazing birds for sure.🙏🏼
Stories with so much ❤️.
R.I.P. Mabel. Thanks so much for sharing your love of Mabel. She will be missed. She is posed on my wall! Your posts mean so much, June. You have brought your audience so much joy and insight and now we share in your grief. Much positive healing crow energy coming from Fayetteville, GA from our crows to yours!
Oh June, such sad news.
I have her frazzled Monday morning picture on my wall that always brings me such joy.
RIP Mabel and thank you.
Sad to read about the loss of Mabel. But now I have a name for the lovely (and last!) tile purchased recently of the crow flying with cherry blossom branch. I decided the trio of tiles will grace a wall this time, rather than join the coaster-tiles dotted around my apartment.
I love the updates to your book. They prompt me to reread it.♥️
Goodbye Mable, may your spirit wings always be strong, and both your eyes shiny sharp and beautifully .black
Your beautiful post reminds me of the book by Catherine Raven, ‘Fox and I’ where she describes the two-year friendship she had with a wild fox. Can’t recommend highly enough!
My condolences. May her offspring bring you joy.
It is so hard to even read about a goodbye let alone experience it – thank you for sharing the bittersweet along with the joy.
So sad to hear this news on Mabel. May her end have come quickly, not too much suffering involved. Perhaps she was taken out in the avian flu/ poisoning last fall out by Still Creek. Very sorry to hear this news. Sorry Mabel will miss out on the glorious arrival of spring this year. RIP brave, gracious and loyal bird. Hang in there, June. May all your other neighbour crows give you comfort in this loss.
So sad to hear this news on Mabel. May her end have come quickly, not too much suffering involved. Perhaps she was taken out in the avian flu/ poisoning last fall out by Still Creek. Very sorry to hear this news. And, I’m sorry Mabel will miss out on the glorious arrival of spring this year. RIP brave, gracious and loyal bird. Hang in there, June. May all your other neighbour crows give you comfort in this loss.
Fly High beautiful Mabel
I hope Beeper and Bopper carry on Mabel’s legacy! What a lovely tribute to her! Thank you for sharing her story!
This Blog brought tears to my eyes. What a lovely tribute to Mable.