Most mornings on my drive to work, I notice crows out in the middle of the road, pecking at a dead animal. I always yell at them. “Ewww, don’t eat that.” That just really bothers me. I mean, why eat dead, rotting corpses? Who does that? Well, obviously, crows do.
What’s worse is that I watch it. “Stop it, you stupid crow. You’re gross.” Well, except for the fact that crows are not stupid. Far from it. They are very intelligent birds. They are supposedly one of the most intelligent animals on Earth. They shouldn’t have to depend on road carnage for their meal. I know they are smart enough to fool people to feed them. Case in point: The Hardees drive through. During the cold, snowy winter we are having, the crows are gathering at fast food drive -throughs. And this makes animal lovers feel badly. Poor birds. They are starving. I think I shall buy them a biscuit. Well, maybe two. A car in front of me did that several weeks ago, so I followed suit. These crows know what to do. We both pulled over, tore the biscuit in little pieces, threw it out the window, waved at each other, and off we went. I felt really good. If it keeps one crow off the gut-spewed road, I have done my job as an animal lover.
Of course, I am sure it angers the little wrens and sparrows that have always hung out at fast food restaurants. They were there first, after all. And they aren’t scavengers like the big black crows.
I would love to tame a crow. I have tried, but they want no part of it. They used to get into my garbage when I lived out in the country. Oh, I could hear them squawking to their relatives, “Hey, Ralph, the stupid lady put her garbage out.” Sure , we had two cans, but most weeks we had an extra bag or two. I soon found out that the crows could see a white bag and were on it before I could say, “Shoo, crow!” But, then I smartened up too. At the time I was a stay-at-home mom, so on garbage mornings, I would start throwing crumbs of old bread out into the yard for the birds, particularly the crows. I knew they would come quickly.
This weekly routine was all I needed. The crows were fed and it was an easy meal. They didn’t have to tear open garbage bags only to find cereal boxes. This was a given. I thought that they would warm up to me, like the other critters who I easily tamed. This was a tough crowd.
Crows are very social and live in a tight-nit family. A bunch of crows is called a “murder of crows,” which is stupid. I was a bit shocked to hear that they are very susceptible to the West Nile Virus and the disease has wiped out about 45% of the American crows since 1999. That is a lot. But, why doesn’t anyone seem to be alarmed?
Blame it on the farmers. The whole scarecrow on a pole started on farms because of the crow. Farmers consider a crow a pest, mainly because it loves corn. Although it will also eat insects, mice, frogs, snakes, eggs, and nestlings, it’s main crop choice is corn. So, farmers erected a scarecrow to….scare crows. It is supposed to look like a farmer from up above, but crows aren’t stupid, remember. They probably figured out a long time ago that people aren’t stuffed with straw.
All in all, I think crows are neat birds. I like hearing their “caws.” We had crows that would warn each other when a red-tailed hawk was in the area. To me, it looked like they were warning my squirrels. The squirrels knew what was going on and would hide-tail it up the nearest tree. Yep. My crows were looking out for the squirrels. What a great friend.
And that’s something to crow about.