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Crow Update (January – early April 2024)

It’s been a while since the last Crow Update on this blog, so here is one.

But before I go any further, remember that there are regular Crow Updates on my Mastodon account (now self-hosted). You can even follow the hashtag .

If you already follow me there, there won’t be many new things here, except for the last part (the past 10 days roughly) otherwise, here is what happened in short.

January 2024

Nothing too special for most of the winter, except for one thing I had already mentioned in the previous post: Mr. Crow got injured.

I don’t know if it’s because of the local eagles (actually black kites) or other crows, or both.

I mostly suspect the eagles as they’ve been more “invasive” this winter. In the past, my neighborhood has been undisputed crow territory, and eagles were quickly chased when they were a bit too insistent. This winter things have been different. Eagles were more common than usual, more courageous and/or aggressive too.
I could, and still can, see them fly very low, lower than utility cables at times.

Now, did Mr. Crow get injured by this increased eagle activity, or did they become more invasive because he got weaker? I can’t tell.

As I think he’s not that young anymore, do younger crows play a role in the whole thing, trying to “overthrow the patriarch?” I don’t know. While this January was the first anniversary of me starting to befriend Mr. and Ms. Crow, there is still so much I don’t know about them, and about crows in general.

The thing is that Mr. Crow got injured repeatedly over the winter, losing more and more feathers to his wings every time.

Here are a few pictures with some comments or not:

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January 8th


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January 8th – On the neighbor’s roof, waiting for peanuts


January 20th – Mr. Crow, not at his top after an injury.


February 2024


February 3rd – Hanging out in the park


February 5th: I’m not exactly sure what happened. I didn’t get closer as the group of older people who do their morning exercise in the park was already nearby. I’m actually surprised that the crows stayed there, not because of the cat, but the old people (off-camera.)

Cats and crows have an interesting “relationship.” They both consider the other species as a potential threat and something not that scary at the same time. It can lead to this kind of weird showdown. More recently, I saw another crow grabbing the tail of a sick stray cat. I think it was collecting some hair to pad its nest or something like that.


February 8th


February 12th: People who think that love is a specifically human trait haven’t paid attention to some species of birds (crows included)


February 18th

Throughout February, Mr. Crow got into more fights, and his wings got severely damaged. As I previously mentioned, most likely eagles, but I also saw a few incidents with other crows. The ones I saw were not physically violent, mostly shouting and chasing the intruders. I think younger crows have noticed that Mr. Crow is not in great shape and they are interested in his territory.


The previous and following pictures were taken on February 23rd. In the following ones, you can see some of Mr. Crow’s injuries and damaged wings if you watch closely (click on the picture to see it bigger).

The thing is that the feathers that are broken are still attached to the wings. Because of that, new feathers can’t grow to replace them. If I understand right, it’s mostly in the summer that damaged feathers fall to be replaced with new ones. Indeed, that’s the way it was last year.


March 2024

Then, something happened on March 1st. It was a Friday evening, and it got extremely windy. The kind of wind that makes flying difficult for crows. The problem is that this very strong wind showed up out of nowhere shortly before dusk. Crows still roost at this time of the year; they leave their daytime territory and gather by the hundreds – if not the thousands – in different parts of town (the hills and downtown.) I remember driving back from work, seeing a bunch of crows having trouble flying toward downtown, and wondering how Mr. Crow could reach his roosting spot with that wind. I thought he could get blown away by the wind (possibly into the sea) like a dead leave.

My fears concretized the following day when Mr. Crow was nowhere to be seen and Ms. Crow spent most of her Saturday and Sunday calling him again and again.

He never showed up.

For days already, I was trying to prepare myself for the fact that, with all his injuries, his end could be near. That weekend, the idea of his death was slowly becoming a reality. I knew I had become attached to these crows, especially Mr. Crow, but it never was clearer than during that weekend. He occupied most of my thoughts.

And then, on Monday morning, as I was about to go to work, Ms. Crow showed up for some peanuts as usual and… Mr. Crow did too!!!

He was alive!

But he couldn’t fly. He was walking down the street, literally.

I’ll never know what happened. I suspect that he was indeed blown away somewhere and that it took him most of the weekend to recover and walk to the neighborhood. Something like that. I guess… Maybe?


Since that weekend, he’s been in good spirits (he’s pretty active, not hiding in a tree like he did the previous times he got injured) but he can’t fly.
He only hops to higher ground by increments of one or two meters and then glides down when he needs to land.


March 5th


The thing is that March is the month when crows stop roosting (that’s good news for him) and start building their nest. The female usually lays eggs some time in March.

A new nest was out of the question, but I noticed Ms. Crow (and Mr. Crow too when he still could somewhat fly) fix last year’s nest.

Still, would Mr. Crow be able to take care of Ms. Crow when she incubates her eggs? No idea.

As birds manage nesting in different ways, for crows it goes this way:

  • Both parents build the nest together (or fix the one from the previous year if it’s not too badly damaged.)
  • The female incubates the eggs alone, while the male brings her food. She may leave the nest, but for some very brief periods.
  • Both parents feed the hatchlings, but the mother stays with them in the nest for long periods of time.
  • Both parents raise the fledglings until they’re old enough to live by themselves (or rather their older siblings at first)


March 9th


March 10th (he can climb up to his usual “watchtowers” but it’s not that easy)


March 13th – Whoops, wrong crow…


March 17th


March 24th


It was rainy and I also was out and about during this last week of March (more on that in different upcoming posts) so I didn’t notice until the last days of the month that Ms. Crow was missing!

I started wondering what happened. After all this concern for Mr. Crow earlier in the month, did she get into trouble too?

She didn’t leave him, did she? Crows usually form lifelong couples, but there are cases when the couples can separate. I’m not sure what those cases are, but a male not being able to take care of a female while she’s nesting sounds like a realistic reason for separation, doesn’t it?


March 30th


Mr. Crow started spending more time on his “watchtowers.” Also, did you notice how the feathers on the top of his head are raised? It means he’s being menacing to other crows.

Did the younger crows try to take over the territory again? One of the last times I saw Ms. Crow, she was chasing intruders.

How long could he fend them off if she had left?

Also, that day or the following, I saw two crows who weren’t Mr. & Ms. Crow on the “border” of their territory, in a spot where the couple likes to hang out sometimes.

All of this didn’t look good at all.

But, just like that weekend when I thought Mr. Crow was dead, my concerns for Ms. Crow were unfounded.

April 2024

She’s fine…

Do you see her tail inside the red circle in the following picture?

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April 1st: Not an April’s Fools


She has laid eggs! She’s incubating them!

How can Mr. Crow take care of her?

With difficulty, but it seems that he’s doing it.

I’ve been giving him more peanuts than usual. First to help him find food for Ms. Crow, and also because he looks like he’s lost a lot of weight too (I assume he doesn’t have the energy to feed both her and himself properly.) The thing is that they don’t usually eat the peanuts right away. They hide them in various spots around the park. The problem is that they sometimes hide the food under dead leaves or in the kids’ sandbox. In other words, I’m not always too sure how many peanuts get eaten afterward.


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April 1st – His damaged wing is clearly visible here. Just know that at the moment both wings are in this sad state.


April 2nd – Ms. Crow came down for a few minutes to say hello and get some peanuts.


April 3rd


April 6th

Above is the latest picture I took of Mr. Crow.

I spent some time with him this morning. He comes closer and closer to me when getting peanuts, but won’t stay close once he has grabbed the nuts.

Interestingly, today, I left some peanuts on the rock where I was sitting and walked away pretending to leave (and I took some pictures of cherry blossoms.) I expected him to snatch them and he didn’t. Does he consider them mine as long as I don’t give them to him? Or was he afraid that he could be a trap? He trusts me by now, but never 100%. I wonder how people who have crows coming to eat from their hands do it. Is it after years of friendship or is it something else?

On the other hand, I heard that crows respect the property of their human friends, and I believe it’s true. They haven’t pooped on my car since I started befriending them (they regularly did before that) nor have they eaten the trash in the morning at the corner of the street. (In Japan, in residential areas, trash is left in plastic bags at some designated spots in the neighborhood before it gets collected, and crows have a tendency to raid these bags, it’s one of the reasons they’re not very popular among Japanese people)

Still, I suspect that Mr. and Ms. Crow have had bad experiences with humans before, because even after a year, they remain very cautious when they’re near me.
On the other hand, the “crows by the sea” – whom I haven’t really seen in a while (but that’s my fault, I haven’t spent time in their park in a long time) don’t seem so afraid to approach me despite not having built a strong relationship with them.

Like with everything else, time will tell.

I guess that’s all for now. What comes next? Nobody knows.

Please stay tuned on Mastodon or here for future crow updates.

Thanks for reading.


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