It was like a scene from The Birds… an entire row of crows on the roof of the house behind our street. One look up and I knew we were in trouble.
One crow is irritating but they seem to take on a distinctly evil flavour when they gather, and they normally gather outside my window just before five every morning. I suspect it is the equivalent to a work crew gathering with coffee in hand at a toolbox meeting to plan the day and talk about safety. In the case of crows I imagine most of their meetings involve screaming at each other while they plan the removal of safety for, and the untimely demise of, song birds.
They don’t, of course, have this sort of nerve on the farm and must mind their manners or receive a friendly reminder by way of a rear end peppered with buckshot. This is why they’ve decided to relocate to our neighbourhood where they have diplomatic immunity, the same diplomatic immunity your two year old has in the grocery store when she decides to lose her mind and fake her own death at the hands of her “mean mom” who had the nerve to say no to candy. She knows there’s nothing you can do in the middle of the store because of the indignation of the experts (people with no children).
If geese hang in gaggles and chickens are a brood, beavers form a colony and dogfish are a troop, it must be asked “When crows go to school, what is it they learn to do?”.
Why, MURDER things of course!
Ravens are an “Unkindness” but a troupe of Crows is a Murder?? Sounds like whoever named them had a bad experience… But not as bad an experience as we surmised from the pile of feathers from an innocent bird left in our front yard yesterday morning. One more unsolved murder in the animal kingdom thanks to my friends with the silky voices…
I feel like we’re almost playing into their nefarious plans by creating back yards with bird baths and houses. Are we guilty of luring soft spoken and kind hearted birds in only to tempt their mortal enemies? “Come to the Pool Party in the backyard. It’s all you can eat?!!”
They can sense my opposition and have decided to protest by perching on the light pole in front of my house and painting the top of my black vehicle white as much as possible, but never when I’m around. I did catch them at it once and smacked the pole with something to scare them off and earned a quiet reprieve… for about five minutes, and then it was one more trip to the carwash.
I assume they have someone at City Hall in their pocket whose own sidewalk is surprisingly free of debris and yard full of sweet songbirds, but he doesn’t live in my neighbourhood.
At our previous house my wife bought a plastic owl and perched him on the fence to ward off unwelcome guests. It actually did the trick until I noticed the crows were not panicking when they swooped by anymore, but actually starting to ask themselves questions about why an owl would remain stationary on a fence post day after day after day? It reminded me of the man who placed a mannequin of a woman in his car so he could drive in the carpool lane. After a few days a police person (not sure if I’m allowed to say policeman) pulled him over and gave him a ticket.
“What gave me away?” the man asked.
“There’s not a woman in the world who would wear the same outfit three days in a row” was the reply. I live with five women and cannot argue with that, unless the woman is eight years old or under.
I had a strong feeling the magic of my owl scarecrow had worn off when I went out to investigate a violent noise in the backyard only to find a crow sitting on my owl’s head and pecking his eye out. I didn’t know it was possible to murder a fake owl but I know now!
I can only imagine scenes out of the Godfather when the foot soldier returns after being asked to pay a “visit” to my friend the owl.
Clemenza: “Oh Paulie, you won’t see him no more”
I still can’t think of how you would word asking the same soldier to leave his marks on my vehicle,
But then again I don’t belong to a Murder of Crows…