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.