While some crow couples in the neighbourhood are now seeing glimpses of light at the end of the parenting tunnel, Earl and Echo are still in the thick of it.
They were about three weeks behind the Wings and the Bongos in the fledging launching stakes this year. I was beginning to wonder if they’d have any success at all but, near the end of June, Earl and Echo’s territory was suddenly full of noisy babies (I counted four) with the parents racing between them and trying to keep them fed, quiet and generally under the radar of local predators.
In spite of their various physical obstacles, Earl and Echo are fierce and competent parents. Through the long dry summer, fraught with the usual fledgling-perils, they’ve managed to shepherd three of the original four to crow teen-dom. An impressive feat for any crow couple.
Most of the other crow parents have now weaned their fledglings from begging for food (via a combination of studious ignoring and the occasional well-aimed peck.) Because Earl and Echo were late starters this year, they’re still having to put up with a certain amount of teen angst.
The combination of ceaseless parenting and moulting season have both Earl and Echo looking distinctly the worse for wear at the moment.
When not following the small details of individual crows’ lives around the neighbourhood, I’ve continued to think of them from a more “zoomed out” perspective, with all of their potential as messengers, if only we will take a moment to try and listen to what they have to say.
Whenever I’m in this frame of mind, I go back to the more abstract thinking that led to the crow typewriter idea. Lately, among other things, I’ve been working on a more stylized “sans-serif” version of the Crowphabet.
Here’s a little preview, spelling out the names of today’s crows.
For more on Earl and Echo:
© junehunterimages, 2023. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to junehunterimages with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.