hydrangea blossoming

hydrangea blossoming
Hydrangea on the Edge of Blooming

Sunday, June 12, 2016

I Get Crows

There are always a lot of crows around in Point Roberts, but they are never in my yard, and certainly never at my bird feeder which has an ample supply of sunflower seed which I'd think crows would be enthusiastic about.  I used to think that it was because it was too shady with all the big trees surrounding me.  But then I noticed my neighbor frequently had crows on her roof, although she does have fewer trees, but still.  I like crows; they are so cocky the way they strut around as if they were obviously the most important bird in the vicinity.  I mean, they must see the herons, the bald eagles who surely outrank them, assuming that birds, like humans, are obsessed with ranking.  But even if they don't think they're the best, they certainly are under the impression that they are more than just all right.  They're at the top of their game.

I feed a trio of small raccoons who show up every night if I've got something that is excess or has been around too long.  They're not too picky, although one night I left a small amount of a casserole that had noodles and mushrooms and chicken and asparagus and gravy out for them.  The next morning, it was all cleaned up, except for the 4 small stalk-pieces of asparagus, each perfectly licked clean.  So, if you ever want to get rid of a bunch of asparagus, I would not advise looking to the raccoon population for help.

Today, a friend offered me a bag of stale puffed rice that was coated with cheese flavor, thinking the raccoons might be interested.  I mixed the pieces with chunks of stale bread that I had for them and set out equal amounts of both in three small bowls around 5 pm, although they don't usually come until dusk.  (If I leave everything in one bowl, the biggest of the three trends to hog it all to the best of his abilities; with three bowls, everyone gets a fighting chance, although the big guy still seems to get the most: certainly he keeps getting bigger.)

About an hour after I left the bowls in the yard, still broad daylight, there was a great flurry that grabbed my attention in the tree nearest my house, a big and spreading walnut tree.  Six crows had spread themselves out in the lower branches and were eyeing the bowls.  The cockiest of the bunch jumped down, poked at the bowls and lifted a piece of puffed rice with cheese into his beak.  And another piece.  And then all six of them landed, grabbing puffed rice as fast as they could swallow it, but not a single piece of stale bread went down their gullets.  In ten minutes, all the puffed rice and cheese was gone and so were the crows.  So, I DO have crows; I just didn't previously have any crow food, I guess.  I wonder if they'd like potato chips?

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