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Tag Archives: crows

found poem: restorying

found poem: Once

found poem: versed

found poem: and how

found poem: the horizon

found poem: cloud

found poem: daylight

found poem: armed

found poem: the artifacts

found poem: SCARED


crow on patio skylightThe crows are back, rousing me from my desk with their racket. Today they are on the roof over the patio.
One of them — there are at least three — discovers a good-size nail. He parades it across the length of the flat, splattered glass of the skylight then back again and sets it down. The nail has something soft and moist on it, which the crow eats, then picks up the nail again and raps it experimentally against the skylight. There is much cawing from his companions and they all flap off in different directions.


crows on the roofOn the roof, the crows are discussing breakfast. This involves a great deal of emphatic cawing and flapping as well as heavy-bodied hopping — small hammer-blows that thump throughout the house.

The crows live in the neighborhood year-round and the roof doesn’t change, but these visits seem seasonal. A few times each spring, they abandon their preoccupation with the sky, with the squirrels and robins, with the neighbor’s lawn and the entertainments of stolen peanuts and chicken bones, to dance here, overhead.

The skylight is a frustration. They scratch and peck at it, trying again and again to climb its slick dome. They are busy up there, defending and arguing over a morsel, hopping away then returning to claw at the skylight and peer down at me with my craning camera.

P.S.: Nearly an hour has passed since the crows arrived and they are still on the roof, doing whatever they do, occasionally adding the cacophany of claws-on-metal-stove-vent to their orchestrations.


early morning traffic…

crow crossing

crow in the crosswalk
waddling to my side
of the street
watching listening
we both hear the car
he’s halfway across
lifts his shoulders
to take off
and begins to hop

the birds…

juvenile bald eagleA few non-birder’s observations from Ucluelet, BC…

Out on the ocean, common murres float singly, in small groupings or in flocks of twenty or more. Sometimes they seem to stand on the surface, flapping vigorously. In flight, again one or three or thirty at a time, they wing in unison a foot above the water.

Gulls take advantage of an open bin of noisome fish guts at the fish-cleaning station, pulling out the heads, the bony carcasses, the soft slimy bits, and pecking at them on the slippery deck. They wheel and screech, shit prodigiously, hop within kicking distance and beg for more.

At the adjacent dock, seven or eight crows discover a plastic bag with something fragrant and foul in it on board a private fishing boat, which is otherwise scrubbed and immaculate. They crowd in to take turns at extracting its contents, sitting in the captain’s chair, on the rail and down-riggers and cabin roof, cawing, flapping, giving orders: the boat’s dark crew.

An immature bald eagle, raggedy and dappled, undignified in everything except size and profile, sits on a high bare branch as ravens, one after another, rant and scold, threaten and rage, harass and, finally frustrated by the eagle’s refusal to move, fly away.
juvenile bald eagle copyright © 2007, Alan D. Wilson, Nature’s Pics Online

sky play…

crow nutYesterday afternoon, in between storms, scraps of blue showing through slashes in the clouds, I decided to run some errands. In my car, I got no farther than the driveway before my attention was drawn to a trio of crows overhead. They were playing — chasing, diving, tumbling and turning — without sound or direction.

When something fell from the grasp of one of the birds, I saw that there was a toy involved in the play: a peanut, I think. It dropped perhaps a foot before the crow grabbed it out of the air, banked and swooped away, the other two in pursuit.

Over the course of about five minutes, as I craned my neck to watch them stitch and flap their way across the sky, the crow in possession passed that peanut from claw to beak to claw again, the switch noticeable only in the slight redrawing of his silhouette against the cloud-strewn sky.
nutty crow

sky traffic…

crows by Tom MerrimanWhere were the crows going when I saw them? Late afternoon, perhaps a hundred or more, spread out across the equivalent of four or five blocks, ragtag, quiet, flying north. Perhaps they roost in the county, blackening de-leafed cottonwoods with their numbers, a birds-eye view over shorn fields and gray highways offering fare more delectable for plumping feathers against the season’s chill. Perhaps they discuss their plans for winter vacations, share stories of annoying eagles, recount tales of raccoons and guns. And maybe their conversations are semantic, parsing the bad taste of eating crow, as the crow flies, crow’s feet or the very wrongness of crowds and crowns and crowbars.
photo by Tom Merriman and much fascinating crow lore by Kate St. John

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