This is truly a fluff piece.
Recently, I was walking up the path to my front door when I passed by a crow just sitting in the jumble of flowers I call my garden. It was startling to say the least. It did not move even though I was about two feet away. Being a little superstitious, I thought, “Great, this has to mean bad luck, being visited by a raven.”
I quickly banished that foolish thought and turned my attention back to the black bird perched on a flower bush. I realized it was indeed a crow, but there was something odd about it. It was almost full size, but “almost” was the big difference. It had no tail feathers, and when it adjusted itself by walking a step or two, it had longest, most gangly chicken legs. It looked kind of like a dinosaur: a bizarre miniaturized T-Rex without the teeth.
This was a baby bird that fledged from the tall, messy tree in the patch of earth between my sidewalk and the curb.
I didn’t know what to think, so I went into the house. I mentioned the sighting to my husband and daughter. They replied in unison, “I know. It’s been there for hours.”
I went back outside and then I realized the little guy was not alone. His parents swooped down and made such a racket I went back in. I asked Doug and Claire about the big birds and again they replied, “I know – they’ve been doing that for hours.”
Well, I’ll be. I did some quick research online and it turns out crows mate for life and take turns shouldering parenting duties.
I’ve always thought crows were ugly and noisy and dreaded. I watched these two birds fuss over their young for the next several days, risking all to come down to the ground to feed him. They would take turns standing guard, one on the ground, one noisily perched in a nearby tree or rooftop. Amazing, really. Such devotion and bravery.
My poor cat just hid. Her life has been far too soft to tangle with ticked off crows. After a few days, the crows moved on. I assume baby learned to fly. If I am wrong, I don’t want to know.
I learned a small lesson in tolerance; I’ll never look at crows the same. Who knew they possessed such noble traits? Makes me wonder what else I’ve been wrong about.
Deborah E. Jurgensen is a general practicitioner with an emphasis on familylaw. Her practice is based in Ventura.