Thursday, May 24, 2012

Feeding Crows

My friends know of my affinity for feeding crows. We have a birdbath out back and most mornings I’ll throw the bits and pieces of our leftover lunches and suppers right beneath it for my birdies. I try to keep the birdbath clean and filled, too, making a nice little haven for my friends.  It was not really my intention, however, to feed squirrels. That’s right – they did not get the memo. Somebody in my office really screwed that one up.

But the situation has led to some comical confrontations and I’m confessing here that I do the Lady Bountiful thing partly because of the ‘show’. And let me tell you how that has evolved.

At first the crows were highly intimidated by the squirrels that aggressively gobbled up the cracker, bread and cookie crumbs I offered. I mean, BAM! Get outta my way! was the message to Mr. and Mrs. Crow from the squirrely girls. One sidelong scowl from a squirrel and the crows hopped back and then further back – into the trees sometimes. What was left when the squirrels got done, the crows came in and cleaned up.

Highly entertaining to anyone looking out on the scene from the upstairs bedroom window.

But I’ve been throwing the crumbs out for years now and have noticed, of late, a change. The squirrels are relenting a little and the crows are a bit less intimidated. At this very moment a lone crow is cleaning up this morning’s soda cracker crumbs. The other crows and the squirrels have had their fill, I guess. There was certainly enough for all of them and perhaps that has somehow registered in their little critter brains. Maybe they don't mind each other so much when no fear of starvation is at hand. 

Oh, there’s still jockeying for the best position under the feeder. And when I smear a little bacon fat on the stale heel of my homemade bread it's WAR out there. But frequently the crows and the squirrels gobble and peck side by side. And as much as I enjoyed the show when it was more contentious, this new development pleases me, too.

A few days ago a little red cardinal landed under the feeder - a bird of another color. Is a new era is about to unfold? I'll keep you posted.

Image: Free Digital Photos

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