P/Earl & Echo — Perfect For Crow Watching

Sorry — I got a bit behind on what I’d planned to be a daily series of posts about the seven crows in City Crow Stories.

Covid still gets in the way of the best laid plans.

Not to be confused with Corvids, which ARE the best laid plan.

Anyway, the former arrived in our household last week and so my husband is confined to our bedroom while the pets and I sleep at the far end of the house. Bringing him meals, checking in on him via FaceTime (which is very weird) and trying not to get sick myself,  is proving surprisingly time consuming. Luckily he’s not too ill, mostly just tired of looking at the same four walls for days on end.

But I think I have a few minutes, to write about Pearl— who I’m becoming increasingly sure is actually an Earl. Apologies in advance for typos as my copy editor is in quarantine.

Pearl was crow number six of the seven in the book, and s/he, like White Wing, is easy to spot from afar — in his or her case, because of a distinctive bent foot and pigeon-toed stance.

Male or female, I still insist that he’s channelling the same enigmatic confident captured in Vermeer’s “Girl With a Pearl Earring.”

I wrote about Earl and Echo quite recently when I was working on my Crow Watching presentation last fall. They came to mind as particularly great examples of the kinds of crows with distinguishing features that are easier to start keeping track of in your own neighbourhood.

White Wing has her obvious white feather to tell her apart, but she loses it from time to time, and her mate doesn’t have any particularly exceptional features.

Point of Clarification:  I’m certain that Mr. Wing is, in fact, a unique bird — and I’m sure that, to White Wing, he’s one in a million — it’s just that my limited observational skills can’t yet tell him apart from other crows.

Earl has the added bonus (from an ID-ing perspective) of having a mate who also stands out from the crow-d, even from quite a distance.  Echo is blind in one eye and her head is in perpetual motion as she (I’m almost sure she’s the female) uses her hearing to compensate for the vision loss.

If she does detect danger she’s just as fierce as Earl in seeing off the intruders

Earl and Echo, like all crow couples, have each other’s backs …

They take a few quiet moments while Dennis the Menace (profiled in The Young And The Restless) is off having fun with his gang.

Earl is reliably to be found in the same general area each and every day.

Keeping an eye on mountain snow conditions …

Wondering if the snow is every going to stop …

Enjoying a nice paddle when the snow melts …

Promenading with Echo …

I expect to see Earl, Echo and Dennis flying about with twigs soon as nest building season gets underway. It will be time for me to start keeping an extra sharp eye out to see which of them vanishes for 2 to 3 weeks later in spring to incubate the eggs.

Then we’ll know for sure if  we’ve got a Pearl or an Earl.

P/Earl the Enigmatic


See also:

For the rest of the City Crow Stories … A Year On posts:




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