Beach Crows & Towhee on the Trail

Trail Family in the Madronas

Crow Families are continuing to form up.   Here is a good picture of a pair that is frequenting the madronas on the trail to the beach.   Last year this madrona forest had two families raising baby crows.   One had a dud nest or a predator did the nasty on the baby.   The other family got the baby to adulthood.

My observations continue this spring to determine if there ae two families or just one larger one.   When I fed them on my return trip up the trail, there was 5 family members joining in.  That could be two pairs with a helper or it could be a pair with three helpers.   Time will tell as I keep track of them each week.

Last couple of weeks I have been a little worried about my gimpy crow Ellie.  She hasn’t been around and I worried that she had been pushed out of her territory by a breeding pair.  She and her family have staked out a house that feed them on MVD.  There is a short dense fir tree across the street from the feeding house that she likes to get into.  It gives her balance for her one leg.   Today I saw her on the wires and she got down on the pavement to get a peanut and some bread.  Made me a lot happier to see her there.  This demonstrates that crow families have just as many dynamics as we do.  The young breeding family, older aunts, uncles,  and grandparents and of course the youngsters.  Here is her picture hanging out on the wire with no problems from her gimpy leg.

Ellie on the wire doing a great balancing act with her gimpy leg.

On the trail I also got some good views of a Spotted Towhee.  Over the years I have heard them in the bushes calling to each other.  They are a member of the sparrow family but look like a Robin.  Similar  looking with red flanks and dark wings.   They have white dots on their wings, white chests and are smaller or the same size with a longer tail.   Here is a picture of one with his red eyes giving me a don’t get closer look as I try to take his picture.

Towhee staring at me through the branches

Down on the beach I was able to capture a picture of the crow with bare knees I spotted last week.   She caught my attention because she has knees that looked worn and light color.   She might have had avian pox which attacks the non-feathered areas of birds and this could be the resulting scar tissue.   Several years ago one of our yard’s young crows David named Baby Mox had it on his face and legs.   It is very nasty looking but he did survive.

Beach Family Crow with bare knees

Lastly the doll that I found months ago continues to have some bad luck.  Her head is now missing. Either someone took her home or she was thrown out into the surf.   What an odd thing someone will find where ever she washes up on the beach.   This just confirms my suspicion that it was pranksters who broke her up rather than the beach clean up crew.

Headless doll who doesn't have to worry about her bad hair day any longer

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