July142014
Quail? Too big and concave to be sparrow.

Quail? Too big and concave to be sparrow.

July32014
cattiibrie:

Well… looks like fire season’s baaaaaaack.

cattiibrie:

Well… looks like fire season’s baaaaaaack.

June42014

You might have to turn the volume up to hear this. It’s one of the vocalizations I’ve only been hearing more recently, and they do a head-shoulder thing with it that’s freaking adorable.

May292014

A few days/weeks back (Friday before last… probably), I decided to see how long it would take me to hit the river on the Iron Horse Trail, after classes were up and the news issue planner was out. Just about two hours and a bit - totally worth it, too. I’ll probably do the same thing again, when I have more time and less school. Some very cool sites, and I have to get a closer look at the nest on top of that bridge, because I’m pretty sure it was ravens up there, which would be awesome.

And one more shot of the crows, because in case you can’t tell, I am still really excited about them.

May272014

For the first time, they’ve come within arm’s length of me. Somewhat nervously, but they did - and kept coming back, looking at me a bit askance, making odd noises, eating, and watching me from the trees. Y’all, I am beyond psyched.

May252014
Oh man, y’all, this is so exciting. I don’t know that I’ve ever mentioned it here, but I am often very saddened and discouraged and a little guilty that I can’t tell any of the crows on campus apart because obviously, they can pick me out of any crowd. At this point, I can tell, easily, whether they’re “mine” or not from about ten feet off; the handful who I feed will drop their head at an angle, look back and forth, and come closer, while other crows display normal “oh-no-human” behavior.
But this one, who has quite a few times come almost within arms’ reach of me, and will spot me and come calling from across the Wilson/SWIT lawn, has a barely-noticeable white patch on its head. There’s also a little bit of lightness on the beak, so for the first time in ever, I recognize one of the crows. Sure, not as quickly as they recognize me, but it’s still awesome! S/he’s also displayed a new vocalization, which miiight mean something like “frustration,” since I put the peanuts in a spectacularly bad position yesterday morning (this picture is from Thursday), and s/he was making a call I’d never heard before while trying to get at them. I moved them a ways down the path, to make it easier, and s/he seemed… confused? Annoyed? I don’t want to anthropomorphize them, so I’m trying to be careful.
Anyway! I’ve also been on a couple interesting walks lately - made it all the way down to the river via Iron Horse trail, and saw a neat garter and a nest that might’ve been ravens, on the bridge itself. I’ll get those up later, when I’m not desperately working on papers.
(ETA: the beak is blurred because s/he was scarfing peanuts at the  time.)

Oh man, y’all, this is so exciting. I don’t know that I’ve ever mentioned it here, but I am often very saddened and discouraged and a little guilty that I can’t tell any of the crows on campus apart because obviously, they can pick me out of any crowd. At this point, I can tell, easily, whether they’re “mine” or not from about ten feet off; the handful who I feed will drop their head at an angle, look back and forth, and come closer, while other crows display normal “oh-no-human” behavior.

But this one, who has quite a few times come almost within arms’ reach of me, and will spot me and come calling from across the Wilson/SWIT lawn, has a barely-noticeable white patch on its head. There’s also a little bit of lightness on the beak, so for the first time in ever, I recognize one of the crows. Sure, not as quickly as they recognize me, but it’s still awesome! S/he’s also displayed a new vocalization, which miiight mean something like “frustration,” since I put the peanuts in a spectacularly bad position yesterday morning (this picture is from Thursday), and s/he was making a call I’d never heard before while trying to get at them. I moved them a ways down the path, to make it easier, and s/he seemed… confused? Annoyed? I don’t want to anthropomorphize them, so I’m trying to be careful.

Anyway! I’ve also been on a couple interesting walks lately - made it all the way down to the river via Iron Horse trail, and saw a neat garter and a nest that might’ve been ravens, on the bridge itself. I’ll get those up later, when I’m not desperately working on papers.

(ETA: the beak is blurred because s/he was scarfing peanuts at the  time.)

April162014

A handful of pictures, since I’ve been so busy. I owe y’all an update on life, one of these days - the short version is, remember how I billed myself as a journalism student interested in learning to talk to crows? I sorta am in the process of leaving journalism for history, which is more fun and less soul-scouringly… soul-scouring. BUT ENOUGH ABOUT ME. Photos!

April112014

Progress

Today, yesterday, and the day before, a crow landed in a tree near me while I was walking and waited for me to put down food. Right now, I’m hearing a young crow who just woke up in the tree across the courtyard grow increasingly plaintive, and it is adorable.

March292014

The day before yesterday, I got up fairly early, dithered around trying to figure out what to do, got a coffee, and noticed a crow hanging out in the lawn between my dorm, the central dorms, and the gym. Sat down on the bench, pulled out a bag of peanuts, and started eating.

It’s hard to tell from either photo, but this is ridiculously close. Not quite arm’s reach, but just barely outside that. They’re wary, obviously, but still… very, very close. And no hesitation at all from this one, either, s/he showed up, sat in the tree for a few minutes, and dropped down to walk over to the peanuts and start eating. No extra sentinels, no stalking back and forth, no hopping away, inching closer, and repeating for hours. Which is amazing!

But more amazing by some ways, honestly, is the new song. I believe I mentioned last summer that I’d heard them do something a little musical, not really a caw, very low in the throat. Wednesday, I heard a brand new song for the first time - almost a trill, I don’t know how to explain it. Very musical, I almost didn’t realize it was them calling. I’m really psyched about this one, and excited to hear more of it.

(I also tried making the first call, which I remembered, back to them, but mostly got weird looks. Ah, well.)

Mostly unrelated, but I think I’ve been seeing ravens, too - that, or there are some very, very large crows around with very deep voices. I’ll have to investigate further.

March112014

No Photographic Evidence…

…but this past Saturday, in between meeting my friends’ dogs (prior to sitting for them, this spring break), and heading to altar setup, I found a handful of crows foraging on the lawn behind the Japanese Garden; I left them a handful of peanuts, and moved on - they didn’t seem too alarmed.

In the afternoon, when I went back, there were still a handful hanging out, most notably a sentinel up by North Hall, so I sat down with my back to a tree and waited. One landed in the lawn, and I dropped a few peanuts and moved to another tree. Next thing I know, there’s four on the lawns and one has landed about fifteen feet diagonally behind me, and is walking closer. I wait, watch, weigh my options, and decide to take a chance.

Tossed a handful of peanuts in its general direction, and watched it walk all the way up - less than six feet from where I was sitting - and start eating. Took several peanuts for itself, then flew off with beak and throat full. I can’t remember if I’ve ever had one that close before - just out of arm’s reach, it seemed.

crows 

← Older entries Page 1 of 12