Blue-Eyed Crow Baby

Crow Baby, Glendale, California

Crow Baby, Glendale, California

Nine days ago a fledging crow fell into our backyard and seems to have become a permanent boarder here…rent-free.  I called Animal Control. The officer told me fledglings are common this time of year and to leave it alone because crow mom would care for him until he was ready to fly. So we’ve been waiting and waiting…. and waiting.

I’ve read that American Crows are highly intelligent birds and can work out solutions to many problems, as well as count. Well, I’m counting the days until crow baby finds his wings and flies away…far away.

For the first few days, crow baby (who’s actually a huge “baby”) wouldn’t leave a tall stack of flagstone in our side yard. We renamed the flagstone “white rock” for reasons I’m sure you can imagine.

A few days later, white rock was deserted and we celebrated that he had finally flown away. But then he kept popping up somewhere else in our yard when I least expected it, scaring the “be Jesus” out of me. Lounging in the ivy, perching on a rock, lazing on the wheel barrel, crouching in the jade plant, hopping on our deck.

He’s quite mischievous and ventured behind our fountain, startling us since he blended into the foliage so well. I got a good look at him and saw that one of his eyes seemed infected but the other was blue, a hallmark of a young crow.

I called Animal Control about the infected eye and Donald came to investigate. The officer slowly approached him with a large white towel and scooped him up to examine him. He said the young crow was well nourished, had a slight eye infection but was otherwise quite robust and active.

Within 30 seconds, a “murder of crows” — I kid you not, that’s the moniker for a group of crows — were cackling, circling and protecting their little darling. Crows are quite social and have a tight-knit family.

He wakes us at 5:30 a.m. demanding breakfast with loud “caws”. Mom delivers lots of yummies judging from that young crow’s output. The brood chatters throughout the day; communication is definitely one of their strong suits.

The last couple days, he’s been “feeling his oats”, hopping around and spreading his wings. He’s a bit clumsy and has crash-landed into fences, doors and bushes… but slowly he’s getting better.

Although he’s not Fred Astaire, this morning, he did a jaunty hop and flew to a jade plant — 2 feet off the ground. Then he flew all the way to a chair top — 4 feet. Then he bumped into a wood fence. Later, we found him resting on our chaise lounge cover, looking a bit too comfortable for us. Talk about “failure to launch”.

He’s made a few bad landings, but practice makes perfect. In just the last few hours this afternoon, he’s been strutting his stuff. At 4 p.m., baby crow had lift off! He flew to the top of our wood fence and then up into the oak tree behind our house.

So right here on Bagdad Place, we’ve had our own first-hand “wondrous nature”.

Baby crow earned his wings today and joined his feathered family up in our sycamore trees. But we can only hope he soon finds someone else’s sycamores that he likes as much as ours.


17 thoughts on “Blue-Eyed Crow Baby

  1. What a great story! I can only imagine the angst this little creature evoked, but how wonderful you were able to give him a safe haven until he could use his wings. Let’s just hope he doesn’t tell his friends about the nice people he hung out with until he could fly.

  2. What a charming story; funny and poignant both. Although you seemed reluctant to have him as a long term resident, it is obvious you found humor and delight in his presence and I can almost hear you cheer as he took off–applauding his new found skill and confidence in now being a part of his group at last. I wonder, if you’ll miss him–maybe a teensy bit? I think so.

  3. Susan, what a completely charming story with a happy ending! Baby crow is symbolic of all our lives–constantly growing and changing. Thank you for your deep observations of a life that influenced you and sharing it will all of us.

  4. Susan, what a wondrous experience literally in your backyard! Thank you for sharing your story and beautiful photo of your quite large blue eyed baby crow!

  5. Susan, this is a delightful, funny story. Well written as always. How wonderful you got to experience nature at its best in the middle of the urban city. Best to you. Bridget

  6. Susan,
    The fledgling offered you the chance to make some good and funny observations. Makes me want to observe more closely some of the wildlife stories on our property. Thank you for telling this well written story.

  7. Susan, this was a delightful story. In TN our yard is full of crows hogging the feeders from the cardinals, woodpeckers, finches, etc. A few days ago I heard a clawing sound on the front porch. This went on for 3 days. Thinking a crow was stuck in the eaves, Doug finally got a ladder to check it out. He had to take the drainage pipe apart to rescue the clawing bird, his or her dead mate, and clear out the nest they tried to build in the pipe. It was quite a survival story, too!

  8. Great story from wild, wonderful Bagdad Place. You could point to the Sycamore across the street & perhaps ol’ Blue Eyes would take the hint to relocate.

  9. Susan,
    I loved your story. I happen to believe that this little crow felt quite at home in your backyard. Your were very caring, indeed, to have him checked out. There is also one of life’s lessons here – sometimes we have to bump around before we fly!

  10. Great story Susan! So many people say they hate crows. I love crows for all the reasons you brought up. They are really intelligent little creatures. We had a similar situation in our backyard a couple of years ago. We were alerted to his presence because 2 adult crows were on our fence making lots of noise. We then saw the young crow stuck in a bush. For the next 6 hours or so, he made his way around our yard, and eventually into the Chinese Elm tree in our backyard. Even then, he had trouble launching. The 2 adult crows never left. They continued their loud cries of encouragement until he finally took off, flying away with the 2 adults to parts unknown!

  11. Susan,
    I’m so glad your crow is strong enough to take care of himself now. Several years ago I heard 5 crows flying over my backyard squawking and circling for about 15 minutes. They finally landed next to my pool and pushed one of the crows into the water. They seemed so mean and cruel that I waited until they were some distance away before I could go outside. I then used a leaf skimmer to fish the crow out. He seemed to be okay. It would be interesting to hear Donald’s take on this!

  12. Love it when baby crow chills on the chaise lounge after all that flapping. I’ll bet he’ll be sticking around your place for a while. I know I would, if I were a crow!

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