Monday, January 19, 2009

do you know a Crow?

Crow here. I know you'll find this hard to credit (oops, sorry, no talk about economics this time, purely unintended Freudian slip.. credit, hahaha). Okay, start over. Deep breath. I'm a bit upset because I just heard there are some people who don't like crows. Not you, my dear readers and friends of susan, but apparently there are those in this world who think my species is a menace. Pshaw!

I had a long weepy talk with my friend, Joshua Klein, who agreed to stop by to tell you what he's learned about my proud heritage. Just in case you overhear anyone trash talking my relatives, you'll have some answers they won't anticipate.

You know and I know there are Crows even smarter than those. Peace out!


  1. Dear Crow,
    Your detractors are jealous that you fend so well for yourself. I myself love crows, especially you.

    One of my favorite songs that mention the crow is Black Crow by Joni Mitchell. If you haven't heard it, I shall have to post it on my blog for your listening pleasure.


  2. Wow!! I loved that! (My husband did, too.) Thank you.

  3. pagan sphinx - We Crows have found a way to let people ease our lives and some few, like you, have become our friends.

    Hejira is one of susan's favorite albums but it's packed away now so I'll come by to hear the song.

    lover of life - You're very welcome.. it was just too cool to leave behind. Thanks for dropping a note :-)

  4. This weasel will kick the ass of any crow haters. Wow, where did that come from? Well, it just made me mad to think that people could hate on such a wise bird.

  5. Crow... I just wanted you to know that one of my favorite songs to play, sing and listen to is "Blackbird" by The Beatles, which you may well know, is about a crow.

    However, I have no love lost for your distant avian cousins, the starlings. They're fun to watch, but the beauty of their massive flight formations belies their evil ways.

  6. Long live crows. I love the Black Crowes, for example. Since there's an E, I assume that they're your French cousins.

  7. Hi Susan
    I enjoyed the clip about crows, I think birds are all underrated and especially our crows. I have had only few experiences with birds, one was a blackbird in my back yard which followed me around when I was hosing plants. I used to hose him down much to his enjoyment on hot days but this soon developed into a game of hide and seek as he would hide behind a bush and dare me to try and find him, eventually to come strutting out and again to resume the ongoing relationship. Another experience was staying at a guest house on holidays with a hand raised cockatoo that not only perched on your shoulder but took the opportunity to do some exploring in unmentionable places if you were foolish enough to fall asleep in the garden.
    The Guest House owners suggested at one point I offer him his favorite branch to rest on (in preference to my shoulder) which was lightly embedded in a pot, but after positively declining my kind invitation as I gently moved the branch towards him he grabbed it with his beak and hurled it on the ground in a fit of annoyance. He resided in huge cage full of holes so he was free to come and go as he pleased. The worst experience was when they decided to purchase for him a mate, he was so offended he flew out and stayed camped in a tree close by away for 2 weeks and only returned when they took the other bird away.

    Best wishes

  8. Dear crow,

    Humans are just having trouble getting used to the idea that another species can learn to spend money. But once Madison Avenue gets hold of this idea, and crows begin to show up on billboards and walk runways, then humans will all want to look like crows, and fashions will change. Just look at the current fascination with wearing black, and the whole Goth movement. I believe you just need to wait for the rest of society to catch up the rest of the way, and all will be different. And if people ever start to emulate crow behavior, (instead of the other way around) then we might all be better off.

  9. The clip was great!
    I personally have a mixed relationship to crows. In spring and early summer they arrive in large flocks, land on high trees close to my house - and then start a "concert" of incredible annoying harmonies... just when I was about to take a nap. The multiple voices of these scavenger-carnivores can drive me up the wall. Downright ugly, too demanding, no grace whatsoever!
    So I clap my hands, and if that doesn't work, I shoot a gun for the sake of noise to make them have their "party" somewhere else. It works.
    I don't mind ravens at all, their voices are more subtle and they expose a quality of grace which crows do lack.
    So there you go, just be mad at me for the rest of your life. You see, it's a different experience when you live in the country and leave suburbia behind...

  10. What a very cool video. And what a great idea to use them for search and rescue.

    I've read up a bit on crows in the past and knew they were very intelligent birds. I also know that they don't take crap from cats. I had a young cat who used to sit up in my daughter's bedroom window on the second floor and meow and hiss at crows that would roost in the tree in front of our house. One day, a crow was getting sick of his bad mouthing and dive-bombed the cat in the window. It scared the daylights out of my cat who puffed up to three times his size and hid under the sofa for two days. From that time on, my cat would run for his life every time he heard a "caw!". Not to mention, any time my cat tried to go in the window, they would attack him. He eventually wouldn't even step into her bedroom.

    We lost most of the crows in our area from a virus, but they are now starting to come back, I saw a few of them last year. I'll think of you, Crow, next time I see one. :-)

  11. There's none of this 'I only eat the YawYaw berry when it's semi-ripe on finest Scandinavian rye' with crows; they eat anything and they eat it first. They also are a great team - if there's a bird of prey around they will gang up on it and get it out of there neighbourhood smartish.

    And black never goes out of fashion.

  12. belette - and Weasel said softly, 'It is good to be alive.. to have friends.'

    spartacus - In some ways we're all canaries in a coal mine.

    Blackbird singing in the dead of night
    Take these broken wings and learn to fly
    All your life
    You were only waiting for this moment to arise.

    randal - Oui, mes cousines Francais c'est vrai :-)

    lindsay - We had some friends in NY who owned a parrot that loved to sit on people's shoulders and stick his tongue in their ears when they were least expecting it. I mean, who's ever going to expect that?

    I loved your story about watering the garden :-)

    steve - Crow says it's very cool having feathers, wings and opposable thumbs. He's ready to take over the world at any given moment now that his plot to reconstruct the fashion world has gone so well.

    zee - Crow does have some red-neck country cousins that annoy him too. He said he'd send instructions telling them to chill when they're near your place. The two of us are city birds so we know how to behave in company :-)

    nunly - I hardly ever post video but that one was too good to pass on. I loved it when the guy said, 'I hate it when people say something is impossible so I did what any of you would do.. spent the next ten years reading about crows.'

    Your cat story was wonderful too and proves what those students learned about what good memories they have. I'm glad your flock is recovering.

  13. joss - Yes, crows aren't fussy about their diet yet they always know what's best. When a Buddhist monk came to the region of eastern Tibet intending to build a monastery there, he realized that the place was special but couldn't decide on the best location to build the hermitage. At that very moment, a huge crow swooped down on him, picked off his scarf, and flew away with it. The monk followed the crow and eventually, found the scarf hanging from the branches of a Juniper tree. The crow is visualized in Tibetan Buddhism as an incarnation of Mahakala, whose name literally means the 'Great Black One.' Taking this occurrence to be an auspicious omen he decided to build the monastery around the tree, which would itself serve as a natural pillar of the prayer hall.

    Indeed, black never goes out of style.

  14. thanks Susan - I hate the noise of guns anyway, so do they...

  15. The Raven, the Crows cousin, is one of my totems. So, yes, I love them both.

    My funny story of the Crow happened one summer day when I was sitting at my dinning table and saw an odd shadow out the sliding glass doors, along the railing of the deck. A bobbing. Weird.

    "What's that?"

    I go out onto the deck and look around. Up on the peck of the roof is a line of crows. They are pulling the big staples out of the shake roof. The pulling was the bobbing.

    That day, by chance or design, there was a roofers add attached to our doorknob.

    "And after you pull up the staples, don't forget to leave an add on the doorknob". said the roofer to his trained crows.

    Telling this story to a customer of mine (used bookstore) he said they were most likely looking for bugs in the wood.

    "Oh, great, not only do we have Crows tearing down our house, now there are bugs eating it up."

    But still, I love the Crows and Ravens. They laugh as us you know.

    They find us very entertaining.

  16. That was an exhilirating talk. It's nice to hear from someone who appreciates crows. It's even nicer to know that someone is thinking about our relationship to other species in a fresh way.

  17. Small world, Linda. I have Crow as one of my totems too. "Within" I think. It's a good kinship.

  18. linda - If they were hatched a bit larger and with opposable thumbs they'd take over the world.

    ben - It was too good to let go by. Glad you enjoyed it.