Fledgling crow season takes the Hill

Young crows, like other young birds, will leave the nest before they can fly, so it’s not uncommon to encounter a fledgling crow on the ground, seemingly fallen from its nest and abandoned. In most cases the adults are watching nearby and everything is going according to plan, so human intervention is unnecessary, disruptive and even harmful.

It’s crow-baby season, and we saw our first one just outside the fence this morning. I went outside, responding to nearby crow-calls and placed a couple peanuts along the top of the gate per our usual morning ritual. At first I assumed they were just being coy. Two different crows swept in and carried off the gifted peanuts, and then I heard a higher-pitched crow-voice. It took me a moment to figure out where it was coming from, but there he was on the sidewalk across the street: an angry little crow-baby.

I watched him move awkwardly off the sidewalk and around the front wheel of a car. He didn’t try to fly, wasn’t interested in peanuts, and was very vocal about his appraisal of the situation. He made his way across the street and stopped to rest next to a little tree just outside our fence. The two adult crows were watching him, and me, from a power line, so I knew not to intervene despite baby crow’s complaints. Despite protests, I did steal in a just a bit a closer for a photo, careful to take advantage of the zoom function so as not to piss off the crow-parents and more than I already was.

What a funny-looking crow-child. I hope he makes it.

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