Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Dark, Murderous Garbage Collectors

The crows in my neighborhood have demonstrated to me repeatedly since I moved into this house that they are ever vigilant, keenly observant, and murderously persistent.  Not only did they pounce upon the mortally struggling lizards in my drive way last week, but Sunday showed they enjoy eating fresh carrion as well.

You see, I had an old, inherited (with the house) bird feeder hanging from the Ficus tree in my front yard. On Sunday, I loaded it up with over a pound of nyjer seed as the finches & sparrows have been ravenously devouring about a 1/4 pound a day.  One of the two supporting strings of this inherited feeder was rather frayed and...  well...  the feeder did not make it through the whole day before it fell from the tree.  Now, it may have fallen on it's own weight...  or....  a Much Larger Bird (like a raven perhaps?) may have tried to menace the smaller birds who were frequenting the feeder.  Either way, I found the feeder on the ground, and a compressed / concussed male sparrow underneath it.  It seems that he rode the feeder all the way to the ground, and then was crushed by its impact.  Seeing the little bird in it's full adult plumage saddened me, since there's a mother sparrow somewhere now whose mate is not going to help her raise her chicks.

I went into the backyard where Dr Desert Flower was soaking up UV, and told her of the fatal accident up front.  She wanted to see if the bird was just stunned, or completely gone from this mortal coil.  But as she rounded the corner of the house, she saw a large black crow Take Off from next to the fallen feeder with "something gray and white in its beak".  If the sparrow was alive, it was being turned into crow before the sun set, sadly.

In addition to the events of the last week, I've seen crows "check out" my rolling trash cans when they've fallen over after the trash collecting truck's robot arm didn't set them squarely back down on the ground.  I've seen crows pick at fallen guava in my back yard, and I've seen them scavenge from the trash cans at both local parks (2 blocks from our home, in the East and West directions).  They like to sit on top of the street lights or a barren tree branch (like my neighbor's birch) and "CAW!" loudly, to proclaim that this territory is theirs.  I don't have any affinity for crows - nor do I for seagulls, who over-populate & pollute the beach.  All other birds I find interesting and useful and "functional" .... but these crows and gulls...   ugh.

I should look on the bright side:  I did not have to collect the corpse of the fallen sparrow.  The crow did it for me.  And, Game of Thrones is about to start soon, and I have a warm spot in my heart for that show's pathetic crows guarding the wall.  I just wish they weren't such bullies.  I've never gotten along well with bullies.

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