Here in West Seattle crows are plentiful and have staked own their homes just like us. Over the years I have documented many of these crow colonies. When I drive to work the same tribes are hard at seeking out breakfast in the same place each day. Thought I would give you a short tour of a piece of my route, so you can see what I mean.
Long ago my husband named one of the crows in our backyard Mocha. Then came the son of Mocha and now we just have her family. The tour starts with a look at one of them watching over the territory.
I walked out the front door and lo and behold there was another family member checking out the front side of the house. Guess they have our number! They do remember who is naughty or nice and we have been pegged as nice since we feed them all sorts of things. Add to that the crow urban legend that we saved one of their babies from a cat. That is what started us down the road of being in cahoots with crows.
I hooked it down the street, around the corner and down 108th. I did not see the 108th crowd at this time nor the bus stop family. They must have been off in a tree or a yard pecking out their living for the day.
As I headed up 35th, only two blocks up from the corner crowds home turf, I spotted just that. A crow in a yard looking for something to eat. Perhaps this was one of the corner crew but I don’t think so. This was close to 106th where another family has taken as theirs.
This guy was not too shy, he was up close to the front door checking out for human food items. Of course he would take a bug or worm any day but human scrap is the best.
Crows adopt human families and move into your yard. This crow seems pretty comfortable, so I bet this is the center of his home turf.
Off I trucked again towards 106th. My goal is to walk the way I head to work and show you how many crow families there are along the way.
Off I went down the 106th hill into the area we call the dip. Get to the dip and slightly off the street behind the houses is a water retention pond. I never disappointed when I see the red wing blackbird. Several years ago they dug this pond out so it would quit flooding the houses near by. The blackbird got displaced and was up the hill at our bird feeder. Now the red wing family is back in their territory where they love the marsh and cat tails.
Out I popped back to the street and guess what? I found a member of the dip crowd pecking at something in the street. This area has a couple of tall Douglas Fir trees. They make good nurseries coupled with good road kill you have a prime crow home spot.
He must be an older crow because he knew what the traffic was going to do. As a big truck rumbled by on the opposite side of the street he barely budged from his food foraging. Later I was watching from a block away when a small box truck came down right at him. He looked up, judged the distance took another peck and then as the truck got close flew to the sidewalk.
Up the hill I went towards the store and the lawn mower shop. Found a clue to the resident family in the grass… a feather. If you watch closely, you will see that most stores or restaurants belong to a crow family. They know that eats are consistent and the extended family guards and holds onto their territory for years.
I got to the intersection which is so busy it has a stoplight. The family grocery store has survived for years and just beyond is the lawn shop. Lo and behold there was the resident family. They were in the street cleaning up behind us humans.
Like the dip family crow down below they are not afraid of a car or two unless it is coming right at it. They have learned how to dance with the traffic.
Then a car came down the hill and he moved to the grass strip.
We have gone about 10 blocks since the crow in the flowers. See how many families there are packed into this neighborhood?
Here is one more shot of the mower/grocery family. They are right at the entrance to the shop showing us all they own this spot.
Up the S-Curves hill I went and there was the next troop or family of crows.
We have made it to 22nd at this point and my count of crow residences is 5. I know there are more but who is counting?
I did not see anything too exciting until I got to the very busy intersection of 107th and 16th. This is White Center and this is a crow heaven spot.
One corner has a Taco Bell (yummy trash), a convenience store, a funeral home with a great old tree, and a grocery store (more good eats). Major traffic light here and of course traffic. That means good road kill as well as things people throw out of their car window. I was not disappointed by the crow population here.
I did not cross the street but rather headed north. This is such a good crow spot I was not surprised by how many were hanging out watching me for a treat.
This little crow looked real funny. He had no feathers on his neck which gave him the funniest skinny neck look. He saw me and fled to the building. At first I did not notice his buddy was up there. I think the other crow was his mom but not sure.
Around the corner I went and walked back south up an alley. It would lead back to 107th and home. Here I found of course more crows or perhaps they were the two on the wire.
Speaking of alleys, as I walked back home I checked them out. In two different alleys I saw kitty cats, a tabby and a white one. They certainly were enjoying the morning just like the crows.
Back at the s-curves I saw some of the extended family of the mower shop crew. First check out Mr. Daredevil.
Off to my left over the guard rail I spotted a skinny crow on the road below. He was in poor feather after a long hot summer and it being molting season.
Walked the back way to my house and came out at the corner where I had not seen the usual bus stop family. Guess what he was following me and flew into a tree to watch for a few peanuts.
Guess I have a reputation to keep up. Once I got home these two of Mocha’s family were hanging out hoping for some bread.
Hope you enjoyed my tour of the crow families in the hood. Keep your eyes open and you will be surprised at how many crows live right along side of us. They are tight family units and stake out their territory for years. Sound like us?