A Head Full of Crows

It’s a recurring condition with me, I’m afraid.

Often my brain gets so overwhelmed with crow thoughts that words fail me. This bout is particularly ill-timed as I am overdue in writing this blog post and I know many of you are awaiting news on the Walkers and other crows. I’m also trying to prepare a talk about crows to be delivered on Hornby Island in less than a week.

Time, therefore, to try and blast through the crow block. Here goes …


One of the things weighing on me, and that I’ve been reluctant to share, is that I have worrying news about the Walkers.

I was so thrilled to see that they got through Mr. Walker’s spring eye injury, the giant new house going up right beside their chimney nest and the long hot spring to the point of getting both fledglings safely out of the nest.

Fledgling number one left the nest on July 6. Fledgling number two is much smaller and probably would have stayed nest-bound longer, but I think it was just getting too hot up there, and they exited on July 8.

Baby Two’s last day in the hot nest

Days after Fledgling One was on the ground, I noticed that he or she has avian pox around one side of the mouth and eye, poor thing.

Fledgling Two looks healthier, which is good.

Walker babies, July 14

Walker Baby Two, whose tail feathers don’t seem quite developed yet

Wanda and Baby Two seeking shade in someone’s vegetable garden

Even more worrying; I haven’t seen Mr Walker for just over a week . Wanda seems to be single-parenting both fledglings and is looking pretty exhausted, racing around in this heat all day long.

Wanda on feeding detail

Mr. Walker on July 13, the last time I saw him

I’m hoping that (a) Mr. Walker will reappear and (b) Baby One will manage to fight off the avian pox — but I’m feeling, I have to admit, extremely anxious.

Baby Two going for a stroll, looking for lawn watering refreshment


The second thing that has crows flapping around in my head, day and night, is preparing my talk on Crow Watching.

I know, I know, I’ve given talks before and this should be a doddle. Why reinvent the wheel, etc? But every time I revisit the subject I start turning around the “why crows?” question in my mind. New answers, and “better” ways to express them pop up and I feel I have to work them in.

It’s like having to write the dreaded “artist’s statement” — wrestling the jello of thoughts, feelings and doubts about your work; why it’s important; why anyone but you should care — into something vaguely coherent (and less than four hours long!)

I’m at the “incomprehensible spaghetti bowl full of ideas” stage at the moment, but hoping that I’ll have the strands separated by next week.

I see I’m starting to use a lot of food metaphors, which is my brain telling me it’s time to start making dinner.

I’ll say goodbye for now and hope that the crows will come and magically write my presentation for me as I sleep, like the little birds and mice in Cinderella!

Or maybe I’ll just write the whole thing in “crow.”


You can find details on the Hornby Island Crow talk HERE — scroll down to July 27.

Also, I’ll be giving an online one for the Stanley Park Ecological Society on September 13 (details to come.)




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