Now that this year’s crop of baby crows are getting older and less vulnerable, I have been spotting larger crow families again. Both in Renton and here in West Seattle, the extended family is getting back together and working as a team to raise the little ones.
This is the normal annual cycle of Crow Territories. They go from quite large and populated by related families. The groups around our yard runs about 10 members. As they get into the nesting stage the territories get a lot smaller and are occupied by that nesting pair and maybe a helper or two. The rest of the non-breeding family sort of disappear to places like the beach or other territory that does not have a nest in it. Once the babies fledge the family forms up again. I like to joke that they are partying. This is especially true in the winter when they roost in huge groups. In the Renton valley area this roost is in the thousands. Now that is one big crow party.
Down at the beach they were showing the babies how to pick through the low tide bounty. The youngest of the babies are left in the taller popular and alder trees that grow close to the water (aka nursery trees in prior posts). Today upon arriving at the beach I could see right away that two of the taller poplars had crashed onto the beach. They are victims of the thunderstorms that came thru late last week. My theory is these trees grew to withstand the winds coming inland from the sound. The thunderstorm came from behind them and they were bowled over easily when hit from their weaker side. At least one of the group still stands for the Eagles, Osprey, Kingfisher and Crows to perch in.