Saturday, January 7, 2012

Nut Dropping

I heard them before I saw them. Crows. Lots of crows. Up to something.

American Crow: corvus brachyrhynchos = common, loud, hoarse, cawing, crafty, flocking, congregating, problem solving, learning, clever, aggressive, mischievous = a murder of crows (many crows flocking together)

As I turned the corner and headed down the hill, I saw multiple crows, all flopping up high, swooping over the road, pausing on a perch (power line, tree, fence, you name it, they were on it), cawing, then diving for the road. I also noticed a proliferation of nuts all over the place.

Nut dropping.

I've seen this before. Crows really are clever birds. A crow grabs a walnut or hard shelled nut in its' beak, then flies up high to drop it down on the pavement. Those crows have it all figured out. They know that asphalt and cement are hard enough to help break open nuts. I've also seen them purposely drop nuts on roads...waiting for a vehicle to crunch them open. After breakage - the feast or squabbles begins. Sometimes the waiting crow has to fight off others to claim the nut prize. If that fails, a big chase takes place, usually with several crows after one nut grasping bird. Cracks me up.

There has been a murder of crows spotted around our neighborhood. The neighbors across the street have an enormous, perfect, leafless tree that often hosts the noisy, black feathered tree decorations. Makes me suspicious. Where is my cat?

They missed me that day while I was out walking. But they cleaned up on nuts. Today, the nuts were almost totally gone. A few spots of crushed shells, one or two forgotten nuts.

Murder - 1. Nuts - 0.

BTW: Did a little online crow research. Seems many people are interested in crows and counting crows. However, is not for black birds and tally marks. Seems to be a pretty well known band. Who knew?

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