Wednesday 6 June 2012

Bill and Beatrice Crow

Bill and Beatrice Crow
Waiting . . .
Our suspicions that Bill and Beatrice Crow were expecting the patter of tiny claws were confirmed last week when we spotted two young.
 Demanding . . .
The parents are very assertive around us now, demanding food as soon as we appear in their territory. Bill approaches very close, followed at a safer distance by his mate. He has always been bold, Beatrice less so, but I suppose the demands of their offspring have made them both more confident. The two youngsters can fly but still depend on their parents to provide sustenance.
Beatrice flies off. Bill has pale blotches on his wings.
We cannot tell whether they recognise us, or the dogs, or a combination of the two. They were a little wary when Elliot, Eve and Louis were staying with us and accompanied us on an evening walk a couple of weeks ago. They soon seemed to realise that the children were part of our pack and meant them no harm. That’s probably anthropomorphic but it’s difficult not to apply human reactions and reasoning to them. They know the route we normally take and fly ahead of us and wait for us to catch up. 
How much can I fit in my beak?
Bill is greedier and more observant than Beatrice and tries to collect as much as he can fit in his beak. He picks up the food immediately and flies off with it. Beatrice is more cautious and picks it up, then drops it and picks it up again.
Approaching . . .
They are so used to the dogs that they fly down to gather biscuits from the water while the dogs are swimming in it.  Invariably they pass over the pond to spot exactly where the food is then swoop down and grab it. Legs and tail feathers are momentarily dipped in the water – a heart-stopping moment for us as we wonder what would happen if they miscalculated and found themselves submerged.

However, strong wings carry them safely away from an environment that is not their natural element.
This is Bill, with the blotchy wings
Water-softened food . . .
We have not yet managed to take photos of the young ones - they're very wary. We wonder if the youngsters will learn from their parents that we are a source of food or whether, when they are independent, Bill and Beatrice will chase them away like other crows.


  1. are like step parents.

  2. This was fun to read, Janice. It must be fun to watch these two very involved parents! I will be watching your blog for photos of the young ones when you are able to get them.

  3. Great pictures. It's interesting how they have their own distinguishable personalities.

  4. Great series of shots, especially the way you captured that water skiing event. ;)

  5. Hi Janice - great shots .. they're part of my thug group around here! With the magpies and the seagulls - the worst .. and the multitude of pigeons ..

    The water shots are like Fish Eagles to me .. amazing that they've learnt to collect their food - granted not fish.

    Crows are incredible learners .. this amazing story may stun you ..?!

    Not so happy reading! but so interesting Cheers Hilary

  6. Well you've done it now! Those crows will stick around forever and demand more and more. They are amazingly smart and -- be careful -- can be a bit aggressive if they don't get what they want.
    But still they are fascinating and your photos are fabulous!

  7. I love how you put this together! I've been watching a group of crows in our backyard each morning. One day I watched as two of them lit in the top of a dead tree and began caw cawing and then the whole flock showed up and they all flew off in perfect formation. The two in the tree waited for the others to go first, then they followed. It was really something to behold and I felt privileged to witness it. It looked like they were all heading off to work together for the day.

  8. I have never seen such entertaining crows :)
    You got some great pictures of Bill!

  9. Amazing photography and story as well. Thanks for giving me the first grin of the day.

  10. Thank you for introducing Bill and Beatrice to us. Crows are such clever birds, methinks. Bill and Beatrice have trained you well. :))

  11. Crows and magpies are the only birds "en masse" here around ! They probably have killed all the little birds and they are very aggressif with the cats ! I have seen the neighbor's cat hiding under the chimney cover on the roof because she was attacked by a crow ! Next time I look out of the window I try to find Bill and Beatrice, lol !

  12. Wonderful narrative and fantastic photos - especially those action shots at the end! Crows are such amazing, extremely intelligent birds. I always enjoy watching them, and look forward to you possibly getting photos of Bill Jr and Beatrice Jr one day soon! :-)

    Btw, we're currently living on a street named Absaraka (pronounced, more or less, "Ahb-SOR-ka"), which is the Crow tribe's name for themselves. In their language it translates to "Bird People" or "People of the Big Bird," though I don't know if it was the whites or the Native Americans who decided that referred to crows!

  13. Great crow family story. I especially like those water action shots!

  14. I'm impressed with how many phtos you have managed. I always find crows too quick for me.

  15. Wow! These are totally amazing photos! Crows have always intrigued me.


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