Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Oh Crow!

Most of you know how I feel about crows.  If not, it's safe to say that they rank right up there with whales and cats.  I love 'em!  So clever, so funny to watch, and while not quite melodic; possessed of their own kind of compelling cacophony.  My fondness is marked and sincere, even if they don't know it and sometimes dive-bomb me while I'm on a neighborhood run, or eat my unattended, reconstituted, backpacking eggs.

Please note the beak holes.

And no, my encounters aren't all bad.  What about the time I saw a crow caw on an early, chilly morning, and swore I saw his breath?  And all the times out at the bookstore when I would watch their evening commute to the rookery?  Standing outside, eyes to the darkening sky while they flew passed in all their magnificent multitudes, heading home after a long day of crow-awesomeness... yes, I like crows.  A lot.

And so today when I saw a crow face plant into a pane of glass, I couldn't help the involuntary "OOOOH!" that escaped, and the urge to rush in and help him.  Good thing I didn't, as he quickly brushed it off and flew on, with what I'm certain was a backward glance at the glass (and perhaps me as well) of the kind you give that raised bit of sidewalk that trips you up.  It sounds much worse than it was.

I was walking along the outside, upper-level of the library at school where a railing, complete with clear glass, encircles the patio.  The crow was sitting on the back of a chair, saw me approaching, and attempted to fly down to the lower level until he was abruptly halted by that pesky glass.  The clatter of his beak and feet, combined with the soft "woomph" of his body, and his little, post-collision, head shake was pretty funny.  Which is why my "OOOOH!" was accompanied by a little bit of a laugh.  It's one of the few times I've seen a crow do something stupid, or be less than composed.  (Don't crows have that put-together, regal feeling about them, even when they're eating cold french fries out of a crumpled, fast-food bag?)  I mean think about many times do you see a crow as a road-kill victim, compared with how many pigeons meet that fate.  I'm telling you, survival of the fittest, crows be smart!  I'm sure this crow must have been young, or new to the area, but I'm guessing he's not going to forget about that glass pane next time.
I hope he doesn't equate the incident with me, because we all know that crows remember faces... it might be time to transfer schools. 

Completely accurate diagram of the incident.