I know many of you have been waiting for news on the Walkers since Mr. W injured his eye back in April. Sorry for the delayed update — there’s been a lot going on in both my crow and human worlds, so I’ve acquired a backlog of crow and fledgling info.
But let’s start with the Walkers, as they are in a bit of a cliffhanger situation.
Pre-eye injury, everything was full steam ahead for Nesting Season 2023. They’d selected what seemed to be an ideal nesting spot, and Wanda was ready to lay those eggs.
Post-eye injury, there was nothing for the Walkers to do but put the nesting process on hold. There were a couple of worrying weeks when Mr. W sat, very still and very quiet. He stayed in high branches or up on wires as Wanda kept an eye (as it were) on him.
His eye still isn’t back to normal, and I’m not sure it will completely heal. At least it didn’t get infected and, in classic crow fashion, he’s learning to adapt.
Sometimes he has the injured eye completely closed — usually when he’s more relaxed and on a higher, safer perch. When he’s on the ground and in a “high alert” situation, he can, and does, open the injured eye enough to give himself a more complete view.
As I mentioned in earlier posts, Wanda is completely blind one eye, yet she’s managed to adapt and go about her crow business pretty much as normal, so I’m hoping the same will be true for her mate. Wanda is blind in her right eye, while Mr. Walker injured his left, so between them, they have panorama vision.
The other good news is that nesting is now very much back on the agenda. Only a couple of weeks after the injury, the Walkers were refreshing the furniture in the original nest site.
Mr. Walker was, once again, feeding Wanda when she begged for food.
By mid-May, Wanda was sitting on the nest again.
The once perfect-seeming nest site is now my main causes for anxiety for the Walkers.
When they first chose this spot way back in March, it looked ideal — a covered chimney with a nice little roof for shelter from rain and sun, camouflage from passing eagles and too high for easy racoon access. Another bonus was the quiet, empty lot next door.
If not for the unforeseen delay in April, everything would have gone much more smoothly.
As it is, just as Wanda started sitting on the nest, construction started next door. Naturally, there’s been a lot of hammering and sawing; the house is going up fast. I don’t think the Walkers are particularly worried about the noise, but I’ve been nervously watching to see what happens as the builders get right up next to the nest.
Right now the workers are just a bit above the nest as they work on roof assembly. When they selected this spot back in March, I’m sure half a dozen humans banging around at eye level all day long was not something the Walkers had in mind. Somewhat miraculously, crows and construction crew seem to be co-existing — so far.
Earlier this week I was able to spot at least two little beaks pointing up to be fed. Fledglings in the nest really do look a lot like those ceramic pie vents made in the shape of blackbirds.
The Walkers are now almost a month behind the neighbours (Bongo and Bella on one side, and the Wings to the other) in the nesting game. Both other families have very mobile fledglings who don’t yet know about territorial boundaries and keep flapping too close for comfort the Walkers’ nest. This, of course, leads to a lot of noisy inter-crow -family squabbling.
From the activity in the nest now, it looks like those hatchlings will become fledglings any day now. They have to get down from that chimney and avoid the myriad fledgling’s-bane hazards out there; raccoons, cats, cars, eagles, other crows, dogs, flying accidents … it’s amazing any of them make it, really.
I’m hoping they exit the nest during a break in construction. Evert time I see them, I advise the Walkers to try keeping those babies in the nest until the weekend.
Every crow parent works long and hard to get their offspring out into the world, but the Walkers have certainly faced and overcome more than their share of hurdles this spring.
Keeping fingers and toes crossed for whoever is up in that nest to at least make it out of the chimney and on to the next set of fledgling challenges.
For more on The Walkers:
- Mr. Walker’s Bad Monday (Apr 24, 2023)
- Mr. Walker Updates (Apr 26, 2023)
- Mr. Walker News (Apr 30, 2023)
- Mr. Walker Good News (May 6, 2023)
- Meet The Walkers (Dec, 2020)
- Nesting News: The Walkers (June 2022)
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