Saturday, June 22, 2013

Crow Adventures

It was a noisy week when the two fledgling crows decided to leave the nest.  Crows are naturally very territorial and I have no idea why they picked a yard with 3 hunter cats in it to put their nest.  But they did.  We heard them up there squawking away and figured if we were brave enough to nest there, we would be patient and just let them do their thing.

Last week, we heard an AMAZING amount of noise coming from the back yard.  We walked out back and saw our grey hunter cat, Bo, stalking a large black crow fledgling on the ground. 

I saved her (although I don’t believe she was in too much danger as the cat couldn’t get close without her throwing out her wings and the cat retreating) and placed her on my lap.  For the next hour, she huddled right here:

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We didn’t know what to do.  I read a little bit and it said that at all possible, if you could get her back into the nest, that would be best.  The nest was a good 30ft up in our limbed fir tree.  Not a chance without something like a cherry picker or an electrical bucket truck.

So we decided to do the next best thing… put her in a neighboring tree in a makeshift nest.  I called the wildlife preserve just to make sure this could be successful, and the lady said it was a great idea.  So I sent Alex up a tree with the baby bird in a berry basket.

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The parents perched in the tree above our heads and made sure that we knew their displeasure.  For the next. Two. Days.  Each time we would walk out there, they would start up bombing and screeching.  At one point, my neighbor came to see and she got dive-bombed with poo.  They tried to POOP on her! 

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After that, baby bird jumped out of the berry basket and snuck behind the playhouse in the corner of the yard.  She started hopping up the wisteria that grows back there and settled in the quince bush for a whole afternoon.  Mama and papa bird were still very upset, but they would not dive bomb anymore and I watched as they brought her food a couple times a day. 

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She got bigger and braver over the next couple days and I could tell her feathers were coming in fast now.  I suspected it wouldn’t be long before she would fly away herself.  She was getting braver, too.  No longer afraid of the cats, she would jump down and hop across the lawn when she wanted them to come feed her.  She often would end up in my garden.

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The last day we saw her, her parents were angrily screeching from the tree in front of the house on the south/garden side.  I couldn’t find her at first, but then I spotted this big black spot in my mini apple tree.

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There she was… hopping up the tree, getting ready to jump the fence into the tree across the street. 

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That evening, I took the little boys outside so we could lay and watch airplanes (one of their favorite things to do) and I was struck by how silent it was.  No screeching baby or parents were anywhere in sight.  The next morning, when I went to water the garden it was the same.  Our baby had left the nest.