murder in the neighborhood

Of crows that is…

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(sorry for the blurry pics!)

They are raucous and incredibly entertaining. Some of them make cronking noises almost like a raven. I think that’s because there are sometimes ravens nearby, and the crows are trying to play with the big boys.

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The Cornell Ornithology Lab has some info, including recorded sounds. The crows around town make caws, calls, and rattles like those, but they also make that cronking sound. I have no idea what it is.

Hmmm… Life Histories of Familiar North American Birds suggests it might be a lovesick crow…

The prolonged ‘car-r———-a———-c——-k’ of a love sick individual in spring, uttered in various tones and drawn out into prolonged gurglings, though somewhat like the call of the young for food is still quite different.

But they do this all year round here…

In a 1923 excerpt at the Life Histories book, Townsend notes this…

The conversational notes of a small group or family of Crows are always entertaining, and the observer is impressed with the extensiveness of their vocabulary and with the variations in their feelings. At times the notes are low and confidential, pleasant and almost melodious, if I may use that word here; again they are raucous and scolding, bursting at times into a veritable torrent of abuse. In the same way, in human conversations, one may, even without understanding the words, be able to interpret the meanings and motives involved.

Maybe I’ll manage to record their crazy noises and play them for somebody who knows about such things.

In the meantime, we also have a super lucky elephant.

elephant 002 elephant 001

Twenty-five pounds of jasmine rice. Is that a bat hanging on that elephant?

4 Responses so far

  1. 1

    Yarndude said,

    October 18, 2012 @ 8:50 am

    Oh my gosh, I just love crows. Their presence in the big oak trees in my front yard is a perfect complement to the winter scenery.

  2. 2

    Diane McKenney said,

    October 18, 2012 @ 8:57 am

    but they poop all over!!!

  3. 3

    margene said,

    October 18, 2012 @ 9:07 am

    We’ve had a few murders in our neighborhood, too. Last week I drove by a local cemetery and saw a murder all over the lawns. It brought me up short and then I started to laugh out loud.

  4. 4

    kmkat said,

    October 28, 2012 @ 12:27 pm

    Smokey likes crows because they are so smart. I don’t because they are so annoyingly noise and raucous. Interesting birds, though.

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