Crow Mother’s Day

I wonder if there is any advertising within the crow world on the subject of the perfect gift for Crow Mother’s Day …? I’m fairly sure that roses and chocolates wouldn’t make the list — though a spa visit and brunch certainly wouldn’t go amiss.

It’s going to be up to Dad to arrange the festivities, of course, as the kids are still in egg form, or very newly hatched. No age to be making significant gift-giving decisions, anyway.

So, to help out the crow dads, let’s think of what a crow mom might really appreciate this weekend.

Most of the female crows are either still sitting full-time on the nest to incubate the eggs, or are just beginning to re-emerge into the wider world — stretching and shaking out the weeks of close-quarters confinement.

White Wing, newly emerged from the nest

A yoga retreat would be a nice idea, but it’s going to be months before the mother crows, or the fathers for that matter, will really have more than a minute or two to call their own.

An exhausting summer lies ahead, if all goes well.

Mabel takes that small, almost unconscious step away from one of her demanding fledglings one summer a few years ago.

Meanwhile, the biggest task on the crow mother’s mind is keeping newly hatched babies alive so they can become demanding teenagers. This involves constant feeding, so she’s out and about with dad in search of food.

Another important task is keeping the nest clean. No potties or Pampers for these parents — instead the babies come with a built-in solution — the fecal sac.

I think you can guess how these work …

They’re a brilliant bit of Nature’s design, with the slight snag being that the little sacs are fragile and prone to breaking in transit. This is why, at this time of year, you  might see some white-beaked crow parents.

A close look at White Wing’s beak show evidence of nest cleaning duties

Bongo’s mate, Bella, just emerged from the nest this week and looks, I think, the epitome of someone in need of Mother’s Day pampering.

Luckily papa Bongo is on the job!

Such a thoughtful gift …

Already this morning I saw him collecting some bits of wood chips — presumably to refurbish the nest lining and help with the clean up.

And, of course, Bongo’s greatest gift is his music …

If you’re thinking of what YOU could offer your local crow mothers, fathers — all wildlife, in fact — this weekend, I’d suggest a nice bowl of cool, clean water.
Here in the Pacific Northwest we’re expecting temperatures 15 degrees above normal and no rain, so a reliable water supply will definitely be the bird equivalent of a luxury spa!





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