Ahhh – a mother’s love for her baby. This crow family is no different than humans. They love their families and want only best for their kids.
Watch this mom clean up her whining baby. He wants a snack but mom wants to rid the little rascal of dirt and fluff his growing feathers.
This tale of crow family life began with my hearing the Momma, Momma Baby Crow Caw. Looking up I noticed them on the wire next to the Fauntleroy Preschool.
I found a good spot across the street. The edge of the sidewalk was lined with bamboo in a raised bed. I sat on the edge of that to get some stability for my photography and got this next shot zoomed in.
Then I got into some serious zoomed shots and a short video. My favorite of the series is the one with mom’s open beak grooming and baby crying for food. Just a mom and her baby interacting!
With that I leave you with the photos and the video – enjoy this baby crow moment in the middle of your busy human life.
This week a dream came true when I found the Raven Family of Lincoln Park. For several years I have been fascinated by how the ravens moved into town. Many bird sites clearly state that Ravens are in Washington State except in urban areas like Seattle, Bellevue, Tacoma etc. When we went to the mountains I would thrill at seeing these large corvids. I even had an exciting series of photos of one stealing from a motorcycles saddle bags at Sunset on Mount Rainier.
In 2013 I personally saw a raven in my southwest Seattle neighborhood. In the following years even found a baby in Lincoln Park plus some visiting birds in Fauntleroy Park. Here are the links to those articles and photos.
We have a fairly large park in southwest Seattle with a large forested area. Lincoln Park is best known for it’s salt water pool and the nice beach waterfront area close to the Ferry Dock to Vashon. I usually hang out in the wooded sections admiring cedar trees and hoping for some bird sighting serendipity. This weekend I heard the ravens there but couldn’t get a good photo. When I finally got my camera out they had quickly disappeared.
The next day I thought I should try again. Betting that small family will still be around. Moving baby birds is not something parents do unless they are very distressed. The park is so nice and full of places for them I doubted they had a motive to leave.
I was so right and for a half hour I followed along on a baby raven ride!! What a ride it was.
It all started when I heard them from quite a distance and walked quickly to the area I had seen them before. Low and behold I found them because one of the babies was chattering up a storm. Here is a look at what that first area looked like. Dead center of the photo is where the baby was. His parent flew into a tree to my right.
Here is mom or dad swooping in to make sure baby was not messed with. The baby was chattering to everyone in the family about what he was doing. He was testing his voice and crooning, croaking, making echos and having a grand time going from tree to tree. This small murder seemed oblivious to us humans. Very unlike crows who are needless to say very protective of their kids. Bet if we did try to mess with them there would be retribution administered by these large birds. Perhaps their size makes them bolder than their crow brothers.
The baby flew towards me and landed on a low branch behind me. Then to my delight another baby flew onto another low branch. At first a parent came over to that tree and then moved in with baby chatty.
The second baby was quieter and was busy poking into the tree bark looking for bugs. The video below shows him using his large beak to do that. All the while his sibling continues to vocalize non-stop.
Another lady was watching with me. The singing of the baby enchanted both of us. Then the whole raven crew flew over by her onto low branches of a cedar tree. Before we knew it they landed on the ground and searched for tender things to eat. All the while she was only a few feet away. The parents even went out onto the trail and strutted a little bit for everyone. Such brave strong birds.
Then the chase began. The babies flew off to the northwest. I trucked after them following Baby Chatty’s loud talking.
Next is was a madrona tree with more playing, pecking and singing.
You can tell for sure this is a baby (as if his and his parents behavior wasn’t enough to tell) by the pink mouth that this photo shows off. Check out how his feathers are so defined too.
This baby was constantly busy. Not only being Chatty Cathy but also pecking at everything. I laughed thinking he was saying to his parents “See what I found? Is this good food? What should I do with this? See how I can land here?”
I know you want more audio of this encounter! Here you go!
Then the adventure ended when the two babies and the one parent landed on a tree branch together. To my delight the other parent joined so we got this family picture.
Lovely day in Seattle down at the Ferry Dock that goes between Vashon Island and Fauntleroy on the Seattle side. On the south side of the dock the Fauntleroy creek meets Puget Sound. Depending on the tide it meanders next or under the giant dock.
Today’s adventure finds crows bathing and some star fish clinging to the pilings. Lets go take a peek.
This piece of beach has a small crow murder (aka flock) that own all the goodness that falls from the ferry terminal. It is also a great place because of the fresh water the creek provides for drinking and bathing. I have written several posts about them frolicking around the creek and beach. Here is one on Crow Cleanliness
Today was just as enchanting with them bathing in the flowing creek all together.
A still photo does not do this justice like a video. I have to note that YouTube did not like my first title which was Murder bathing together. Thought it was clever to use the crow flock word but the sensors did not. Had to rename it before I could publish it publicly. Kind of reassuring that they are watching after how bad people have used the site for very awful things.
Before I caught the group getting all wet this single crow did his thing all alone.
The dock had it’s own drama. The pilings hold up all the cars waiting for the ferry. They march down the beach into the water. Here is an emergency ladder that we doubt has been used in a long time.
The tide was out and several starfish were clinging to the pilings above the water line.
See what I mean about the pilings marching into the surf? How about a closer look at the starfish?
Even closer you can see their roughness and how one has two arms that are more skeleton looking. Not sure what is going on & my quick research did not explain it.
Enjoy your summer by looking for adventure and new things where ever you go.
Not only is spring in the air but so is LOVE. Check out these two crows at the West Seattle Junction in plain sight of all showing a little love.
I do wonder if this is child to parent behavior but whatever way you cut it … it shows love and concern.
Take a final peek at them hanging out in their rooftop lair.
Britches? What are those and do crows have them?
The definition for Britches is a bit of a history lesson in clothing.
- Britches definition according to Merriam Webster is: Breeches, Trousers – they were first used in 1571
- What are breeches? Their definition is: short pants covering the hips and thighs and fitting snugly at the lower edges at or just below the knee. – They were first called this in the 12th century.
Here is a picture of old to help you visualize what they look like. Now review the picture above and see how that crow has feathers to his knees and then skinny legs below? Just like he was wearing these short pants!
Have you heard these phrases?
- Too big for your britches.
- Hold onto your britches
Now you know what they mean and they too date back a couple centuries.
Enjoy another good look at Crow Britches and a short video of the crow looking for lunch in the low tide seaweed. You can get an even better look at this Crow’s Breeches/Britches.
Last couple of weeks there has been a frenzy of crow activity to get their nurseries ready. One of the biggest clues to where a crow is building is to follow the sticks. Well not literally, but if you see a crow with sticks or grass in their mouth they are not eating it. Just follow them to the tree they drag it into. There is a good chance they are building up in the top of that tree.
Here are two examples of this behavior. First one is a male crow in Lincoln Park. I can tell he is a boy because his head feathers are almost like he is wearing a hoody plus the little beard under his chin.
This guy is working on the grass part so they must be close to finishing it. Never did see where he went. He was close to the trail and right after I got this picture someone came along. You know this crow disappeared just like that.
Then right outside my window here is a stick connoisseur. Never saw where he went. I think this crow is one of the pair that had babies in the pine tree outside my window last year.
Better yet than a still photo is this little short video showing off his treasure hunting.
So much for the stick as a way to find a nest. Not a lot of luck this year but maybe my luck will change.
That brings me to the other way. That is to listen for that special baby crow cry. It sounds like “mama mama” with a caw twist. As walking around 39th SW & Marine View Drive I heard a little one. I walked around to MVD thinking he must be up in the fir trees. Kept listening and watching but to no avail. Then I heard that the sound was coming from behind me. Like zeroing in on a cell phone location, I started to triangulate where it was.
To my astonishment I found the nest in a deciduous tree. Not unheard of but fir trees are really crow’s tree of choice.
Here is a good distance look at the nest up at the top of the tree. It is right above the light pole. If you just follow straight up the pole into the tree you will see it.
How about a little closer? Now you can start seeing the shape. When I first saw the nest, I saw a crow sitting on the nest with my binoculars. I don’t think the pictures capture it.
It is a big nest. The tree does not give it a lot of cover or support, so these crows worked hard to get it sturdy for their brood.
Finally – a close up so you can see the heavy lumber they used. I call it lumber when you think a crow lugged this up there.
Want to know more about crows and sticks? Here are two articles I have accumulated over the years:
Plus here is a post on a crow nest as it is built over time.
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.
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.