“Quiet” and “crow” are, let’s face it, rarely used in the same sentence.
We tend to think of crows as stridently outspoken and rowdy birds, bringing a racket wherever they go.
Crow nesting and fledging time can be especially raucous, with parent crows cawing wildly at fledglings, and at potential threats to fledglings; and the babies begging loudly and unreservedly for food.
Our attention is mostly drawn to them when they are being loud, but crow do spend a lot of time pursuing more secret, secluded and silent crow pastimes.
The large Katsura trees by our our house are never chosen as nest sites, but they do seem make for a perfect crow creche. Often, especially in the afternoon, Marvin and Mavis will come by with their babies and just chill for a couple of hours.
One of my very favourite things to do is peer up into those leafy rooms and see what exactly it is that they get up to during their “down time.”
Here are some of the things I’ve watched Marvin, Mavis, and this year’s fledgling get up to in there over the past few days.
Usually one crow parent takes the opportunity to go off for some “me time” while the other keeps a quiet eye on junior.
As the world roars along outside, Junior finds a number of things to pass the time in the peaceful green chamber.
There’s quite a bit of snoozing going on.
When nap time is over, it turns out there are a ton of other things to keep a baby crow amused in a Katsura. Playing with leaves is a lot fun, perhaps because the leaf stem looks just enough like a worm to be interesting …
Also bits of moss are quite entertaining. I imagine this is all part of the important “is this food?” learning that needs to be mastered in these early weeks.
The whole world is a classroom for a baby crow.
Then there’s a lot of s-t-r-e-t-c-h-i-n-g to do, preferably without falling out of the tree.
All those lovely new feathers need careful preening …
Learning to be a “covert crow” just like dear old mom.
Mavis, model for Secret Crow image, 2017 … a definite family resemblance
And, of course, there’s trying to figure out what’s up with that strange creature down below with a camera.
Hope you’ve enjoyed this oh-so-quiet little look into the more hidden world of a crow fledgling.
Sneaking away now and maybe baby will go back to sleep and give mom or dad a little more time to regroup before things get rowdy again.
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