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A Murder of Crows

9 Feb


The crows were cawing when I arrived home yesterday afternoon. Not just one or two. HUNDREDS of crows. A true murder of crows.

As I climbed the steps of my small home, I spied a neighbor looking outer window at the spectacle of the crows calling and moving from tree to tree in shifts.

“They’re called a murder and you can see why.” I commented.

“Yeah,” she replied, “OPB just ran a documentary on them. Do you think it is mating season?”

“Maybe.” I replied, “Have you ever seen The Birds?”

It always comes round to this question with people of a certain age. My mom tells a story they, shortly after seeing The Birds she ran out to protect my sister and I when a large flock flew over us. I was too young to remember, but this might just be a family myth.

“That’s why I’m looking.” my neighbor replied. “That movie scared me and these crows sort of freak me out.”

I arrived home and took Lucy for her walk. The crows could still be heard, but the flock was slowing moving west, tree by tree. It was pretty spectacular to watch, though a bit noisy. When we got home, I looked for the OPB documentary. I found a few and watched a bit of one. It turns out that crows are moving into urban areas because they are warmer, have fewer natural  predators  and have an ample food supply. They have a bad reputation in cities because they are scavengers that people consider “big and bold and in your face”. But they are also smart, which is why they are tricksters in some cultures.

Thinking about the kids I teach, I have a few crows. Not the low reading group kind, but the “big and bold and in your face” kind.

Who are your crows?




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