Posted in Crows on the Road

Crows Grubbing Out

We have a little problem in the Northwest these last couple of years.  It is called beetle larvae.  Some folks call it White Grubs.  Whatever they are they are killing lawns with the help of wild critters such as raccoons, otters, skunks and of course my black friends… crows.

They cannot withstand the temptation of a lovely grub meal so they rip and churn the turf to find every last morsel.  I head one person call this attack a “grass massacre”.

Here they are down at Lincoln Park next to the parking lot.

Note: I had to find a tool online to flip this video. Shame on me for recording in vertical.

Back to the crows & their meal. Check out the damage they did to just a small stripe of grass.

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Posted in Crows on the Road

Car Wash Crows

Yesterday I went Brown Bear Car Wash to wash some of the winter dirt off. As I was sitting in line I saw a pair of crows on a wire overlooking the entrance of the wash.

As it goes with wildlife photos, by the time I got my camera out they took off. Then it was my turn to pay and get into the tunnel of soap. The lady taking my money asks me if my rear mirror ornament crow was a raven or a crow.  Then her buddy comes over and tells me how much they love it.

My car rear view mirror crow ornament
Crow or Raven? – I always thought crow but maybe it is a raven

I told them about the pair of crows I saw, and to my delight they said they nest on top of the building there. Plus how a co-worker is so obsessed in a bad way about them.  They were giggling about how crazed this person was and they loved the crows.

Then it was time to get my car clean. After I got out I drove around to the other side of the building and took a few photos. The sun glare made them not the best but you can see how crows know a good thing. A place with food, friendly people and water.  Plus the Des Moines Marina and beach were only a block away.  Crow heaven.

 

Posted in Crows on the Road, Green River Trail

Kent Eagles & Crows Check up

On the Green River to the west side of Kent, the city has converted the old country roads on both banks to trails. You may have seen this in my series about what I saw walking the Green River Trail.

This President Day it was sunny but chilly and I set out to do one of the loops that they have created. My path was where a small foot bridge crosses the river to the west bank. I parked my car on the east side of the bridge and to my delight the crow family I saw before were there. The picture above shows the area of the bridge. Here is a link to that prior post (about year and half ago) which among other topics talks about this family by the bridge.

Green River Trail – Country Road & Crow Family

They were also there when I returned at the end of my walk. Here is one of them hanging out watching me throw the peanuts for them.

Crow near pedestrian bridge over Green River

Off I went across the bridge. I could see through the metal grating as I crossed the river. That freaked me out a bit and then I hit a grate that rattled. That got me hanging onto the rail from there on. I was going to walk down the west side of the river and then turn around. That bridge freaked me out so much, I decided I would walk down to the next pedestrian bridge and then walk back on the east bank trail.

That turned out to be a great thing because I came to where I had seen the young eagle a year and half ago. This is an established pair in two poplar trees. Here is the blog post to give you some context.

Kent Eaglet

This set of babies were raised in the tree to the left. The family has moved into a new nest on the right tree leaving the old nest as a nice memory.

Eagle nest trees in Kent, WA on Green River

When I approached the area, I heard a big bird making some calls. Not the usual eagle screech but certainly not a chickadee sound. That was when I saw one of them up in the tree.

Eagle in tree calling for mate

I then walked on down the trail and when the tree got back in view I was able to see the pair in the nest.

Eagle trees in Kent, WA
Eagle mates on their nest.

A lot of non-bird people do not realize that many bird species have staked out homes and territories just like we humans. This revisit to the Green River trails confirmed for me that both the crows and eagles are returning again and again.  They are not only raising families here but have found good food sources. Why would they give up a good thing?

 

Posted in Crows on the Road

Together We Crows

Crows are so misaligned with bad luck or magic. I say that is only true if they don’t like you. Which probably is a lot of people in their book due to that bad reputation thing.

How do you change the hearts of those who see only blackness when they should be seeing intelligence and loving families?

I say show a little love being shared by this pair on a light pole. See how they are sticking so close and like a human pair nussling up.

Closer to you is not possible!

There they sit watching the world go by. Eyeing for any tasty treats or perhaps a member of their flock. Oh don’t think it is all flowers and roadkill for this pair.

They are also watching for neighboring crows trespassing on their territory and larger birds of prey. It is good fun to chase a hawk or eagle.

But this is a moment for them. See how one gives the other the look of love?

I adore you

Then as I watched something caught their eye and the crow on the left lifted off and went to the West. His adoring mate then rose and said to himself…. you left but I will follow.

Be right there!!

Posted in Crows on the Road

A Crow Warning

Watch out says this crow – dead-end ahead

Halloween time brings nightmares of crows and ravens attacking. They have gotten a bad rap. Just because they graze on dead bodies or are smarter than some humans is no reason to make legends about their evil.

Here we have a crow sitting atop a sign trying to tell us something powerful. Could it be as simple as a dead-end road is ahead? or do we put more meaning onto his perch? Is he telling us it is not too late to change our ways? That some of us have made choices that are a dead-end?

Looking inward is what fall and winter brings. It makes us reflect upon our year and perhaps find how we can be better residents of this earth.

This crow just happens to be misunderstood. Don’t you know any bird that is all black has to be bad. Perhaps they are not what we have been told. Sound familiar about how not to judge others by just their appearance.

Want to know more about Crow legend and how Halloween is attached to them?  Here are a few links to some other posts on those topics.

Crows – Ravens and Halloween

Why are Crows Evil?

Posted in Crows on the Road

Crow Bone

Came around the corner today. What did I find? Crow Bone!

Look what I found on the street - Crow Bone!
Look what I found on the street!

You could make a chant out of that – it has such a nice ring and made me smile to see the plucky crow munching on his pork chop bone. And in the middle of the street too!

I am sure he did it not to be a smarty pants or amuse this crow-stalker. He knows that others will want to steal his golden treasure of snackdom. So, he consumes in the middle of the street to protect himself from thieves.

Here is his story:

Two feet into a crow bone
Two feet into a crow bone
Let's flip this baby over.
Let’s flip this baby over.
The look of Crow Bone Love
The look of Crow Bone Love
Oh No! Someone else wants my bone!
Oh No! Someone else wants my bone!
King of the Crow Bone!
I am king of the street and this snack
Getting the last of the goodness
Getting the last of the goodness

I leave you with a short video of his love of the Crow Bone.

 

Posted in Crows on the Road

Brave Crow or Harassing Bird

Nature brings us many observations and lessons. This week I was drawn to a crow mob’s sound and found they were targeting a hawk along the freeway. The question I pose is, are the crows being brave or are they being a harassing mob?

Crows harrassing Hawk in firs next to freeway - Burien, WA
Crows harassing Hawk in firs next to freeway – Burien, WA

These brave crows were dive-bombing and strafing the hawk as he sat in a fir tree just looking for a meal. The murder believes the hawk is their mortal enemy since they prey on their young in the spring. Nor do they want to share the rich human offerings of the freeway exit with Mr. Hawk.

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The Crows chased the Hawk from the trees.
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The brave harassment continues even in flight

On the flip side, the hawk has a family to raise too. He is seeking a snack to stay strong through the winter and pretty much minding his own business.

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Mr Hawk finds harbor in a tree from the crows

We humans could use a little of this perspective to balance what is bravery and harassment. On this lovely day of Thanksgiving can we lay aside our prejudices and pre-conceived ideas to better understand each other. It is all too easy to think harassment makes us appear strong. However, we are also showing our lack of another attribute -> compassion.

So, instead of chasing each other like my beloved crows are with this hawk, let us soar together and make this world a better place.

Posted in Crows on the Road

Stoplight Smart Crow

Sitting at a stoplight I gazed around the neighborhood. Across the street was a crow on the wire hanging out in the cool dawn.

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The light changed. I started through the intersection and to my amazement the crow flew into the street. Don’t worry he didn’t jump in front of my car. He was off to my left on the cross street that had just stopped so I could cross.

This crow was staring at the stoplight. When it went red, he jumped into the car free street. He knew they were controlled by the light and it was safe to get the morsel he had scoped out.

How smart is that? To have observed the intersection and how the traffic signal controlled the cars. He used that knowledge to get his breakfast in the middle of the street.

Stay alert for smarty pants crows! Nature is amazing.

Posted in Crows on the Road

Crows of Frager Road

Along the Green River’s west bank is a small flock of crows beating out a living. What a good living it is too. Crow Stalker’s walk along the river has found another family to feature.

This piece of the river cuts between a large housing development on the west side and a Kent park and a large kennel on the east side. It was on the backside of the kennel I first noticed them. A hawk was floating on a thermal close by and the resident crows were not happy with him. Their cawing and antics caught my attention as I walked south.

That kennel must be a boon of good eats for the murder. Add a park with lots of good trees with privacy for a nursery and no wonder this flock considers this a prime territory to hold.

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Crows hanging out over a Kennel
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Crow pair have staked out this tree next to the kennel.

On my return trip more of them were out on the west side at the back of the houses and around a pump station Kent had put in.

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Crows using the houses for view of river
Crow watches from pole
Crow watches from pole
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Crow at Frager Rd watching as partner forages

This part of Frager road is mostly shut to road traffic making it a safe playground for the crows. Frager is one of the original roads along the Green River that used to connect the population of the area. A couple of years ago the city of Kent bought up most of the farms and houses and then closed the roads to traffic making a walking and bicycling trail on both sides of the river.

I leave you with a final picture of a Frager crow and the old guard rail. Notice how it has seen a lot of traffic and probably saved a few cars from going into the drink.

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Crow guard on Frager Rd not so straight guard rail
Posted in Crows on the Road

Harbor Avenue Crows

My last two trips around the Duwamish brought me to Harbor Avenue Southwest. Two weeks ago as I walked down the avenue towards Jack Block Park the local crow murder came flying in for a landing.

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Those you who follow my crow friends with me know I carry crow food as I walk around. And of course I fed this flock some of the goodies in my bag. They swooped in and enjoyed.

This week, when I started back from the viewing platform at Jack Block Park which is on Harbor Avenue I saw a group of crows behind the fencing.  I am almost jealous cause you know I wanted to get closer to the river at T-5.

Crow foraging at T-5
Crow foraging at T-5
Crow by old Rail at Jack Block Park
Crow by old Rail at Jack Block Park

This is not the first time I have been to this area and I swear they know me. As soon as they saw me they came in droves to follow me around. Could I resist their fondness for me? Instead I talk to them and then throw more peanuts and bread.

Here they are posing for me after that.

Crow watching me for Peanuts
Crow watching me for Peanuts
Chain Link fencing makes good crow hang out
Chain Link fencing makes good crow hang out

The best part was this pair sitting on the light pole.  First looking to the left and then to the right. They made a perfect pair of silhouette photos.

Looking to the Left
Looking to the Left
Looking to the Right
Looking to the Right

This was a sweet interlude during my quest to walk the Duwamish. Crow Stalker finds her friends and crow admirers where ever she goes… even this far from my home crows.

To see all of my Duwamish Adventure I have a directory post that links all of the pieces together.  You can find that post here – My Duwamish Adventure Directory