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Nobody Messes with the Crow!
There's a Treasure in that Trash Can
It's dawn. I gotta get going. I Gotta call Sam and the boys and round up everyone so we can go down to Oak Park and get a nice breakfast.
The Mexicans had a party there last night--there's bound to be something good.
"Awk-Awk-Awk-Awkkkk!," Sam returns my caw.
I fly real fast to meet up with my boys, my murder, my mob.
There they are in the large Oak tree just waiting. There's Bobby and Danny on foot scoping out the place so no humans or hawks are around. It looks safe to me.
I fly up to Sam and ask him what's up. He says there's some stale tortilla in that trash can below. He advises us to just dip it into some water so it softens up and becomes chewable.
Sam has our back. He's the senior; he has a bigger wingspan than the rest of us. We trust him. He's the John Wayne of crows, a crow's crow.
It's my turn to forage for food. Gotta do it quick. Can't dilly-dally. Those garbage collecting humans might be around soon; they steal the food and pour it down their noisy trucks. So I gotta speed up and collect my goodies. There's some lettuce and stale tortilla. Yes!
I collect as much as I can in my beak and I bring it back to the nesting site. We are a socialist group. Everyone gets an equal share of the food. We're not greedy--it's all about our tribe, our murder.
When We're Quiet We're Thinking
Just Me and the Boys
I can hear my boys cawing me.
Gotta go back to the main tree. Gotta see my dark-feathered brothers perched at the top. Gotta find out if they want me to repair a nest or to make a new one or just to keep an eye on those bluish-green-brown-spotted eggs of ours.
They depend on me. I'm one of the few single male crows in my murder. I'm depended on to help out at a moments notice.
Sam echoes out urgent caws and says that he needs to make a new nest for the babies.
So I take flight and look for adequate trigs, bark, moss and grass. It's not hard finding them. It's hard avoiding stray dogs or strolling humans. I wish I had a bigger beak to carry this stuff so I wouldn't have to make so many trips back and forth.
As I fly I make sure that I'm not flying around predators like an owl or a hawk or another bigger bird. Our boys are tough, that's for sure. we're big and we're mean. We will keep those birds away from our eggs, our young, our pregnant women even if we have to chase them out of town.
Part of being a crow is communication. You have to be highly verbal to be a crow; you have to caw every single detail to your murder so everyone knows what's going on. They will have a fit if I don't tell them what I'm doing. They might even get so angry at me that they literally kick my tail-feathers or break one of my skinny legs.
So I make sure to caw out everything to my boys.
Ahh, the Ocean Breeze!
I Dream of Flying Over the Ocean
I have to sit. I've been on my feet all day, collecting nest materials. My feet and wings need some rest.
The way I sit is this: I find a tree or telephone line that is not inhabited by predators or that doesn't have a history of being inhabited by predators. I then perch for a few minutes to collect myself, all while taking in my environment. If I feel real safe and comfy, I might even take a brief nap if a brother has my back and I have no eggs in the nest to watch over.
I dream a lot. I have pleasant dreams. I dream of being a different bird, having a different body, looking down over different things.
I often dream of clouds. I dream of flying in the cottony clouds and looking down over everyone. I dream of being a big seabird with a nice spacious beak, flying over the Pacific with my brothers, like a group of jet planes flying together.
I dream of skimming the top of the Pacific ocean, just flying right above the surface. I dream of being not too far from the shoreline and the sun shining on me and the smell of the ocean surrounding me. I dream of swooping head first into the ocean, finding a fresh fish, and rising out of the sea without a break in my movement.
I dream of having a tasty fish inside my beak, feeling him wiggle for his life, as I soar higher and higher into the sky, into the clouds, and into the vast universe.
What is your favorite crow trait?
Give Me a Human Over This Hawk Anytime!
The Guy with the SF Hat
There's this one miserable human. I really can't stand the guy.
He's wearing a black hat with the letters, SF on the front. I don't know what that means, but I do know that it's not good.
He had a crooked beak and a hideous scar on his right cheek.
I can tell that he hates crows. He doesn't like our strong bodies or our black color. I can tell that he despises us, that he thinks that we should've never been born. If he could, he would shoot us all. He would burn us and eat us for dinner.
One day he was walking down Hope Street and he threw a rock into the tree where a small murder was congregating. I was in the other tree and saw this first hand.
My brothers, of course, felt threatened and scurried out of there like there was no tomorrow.
That weird-beaked human with the SF hat laughed and thought it was a joke.
He doesn't know that we remember everything. He doesn't know that we never forget a face. He doesn't know that he will never have a chance to do that again because we now have him pegged. We all have identified him and circulated his mug among all the thousands of crows in this area.
I've tried many times to dump a load of excrement on him from the wire but so far I have missed my target.
One day, I swear, I am going to give that ugly dude a good bomb that will hit him right between the eyes.
You Never Know Who's Lurking in the Bushes
The humans I really can't stand are the ones that get up in our faces.
They bring these orange trucks and ropes and tree-grinding machines. They wear shoes with spikes, bright-colored hard hats and they climb our trees.
They take out their power saws and start to slice up our homes, destroy our nests and displace our birds.
Humans have places to live. They live in nice homes. We don't destroy their property.
We want to coexist, but humans make it very difficult.
Observing Park Humans
Most humans mind their own business and go about their busy, yet, unorganized lives.
There's human families in the park that seem to be happy. They just play all day and slide down a chute or swing back and forth.
There's people who live in the park. They light fires to keep warm and they might cook something. They don't laugh very much. They look sickly and miserable and they are very slow moving. Sometimes they smoke something called weed and other times drink alcohol. When they get drunk their voices sound mean and sometimes it's scary. When that happens we just move away from them and find another tree that doesn't have any loud humans underneath.
And then there's the old ladies. They bring bags of dried bread and sprinkle it on the lawn for us birds to eat. It's very nice of them to do that, but they don't have to. We can get our own food. We are extremely self-sufficient and like it that way.
We don't need any help from humans. We just want them to leave us alone.
Nobody's Messes with the Crow!
Like humans, not all crows are valuable. The healthy crows are the most valuable and the least healthy are expendable. The crippled crows draw attention from the predators and jeopardize the safety of our murder.
Sometimes we chase one of our crippled brothers out of the tree. This is hard but we have to do it. We don't like it but it has to be done to protect the murder. We have to be all strong when predators come. We can't have any weak crows. When we are strong, the predators might think twice about invading our trees and nesting sites. They might be intimidated by our numbers and the power in which we caw and screech.
There's strength in numbers.
But it's our young and our eggs that we have to be most concerned about. It is them that throughout the day we have to monitor and track. For when an egg is stolen or eaten, it weakens our group and our group's future. If our young is seized by a predator, it affects us all.
So as nightfall occurs, we take turns guarding our eggs and our young and we never fall asleep when we are on guard. If a predator flies our way, we get raucous. Our screeching-alarms go out so every crow can mobilize for an attack or counterattack.
Our motto: Nobody's messes with the crow!