So, it’s pretty clear now that Junior is back…
But first some background.
Well, first of all, if you have no idea what I’m talking about, read this first:
Secondly, I still don’t know whether Junior is a he or she, I’m not sure I’ll ever know, so I will say various things like “s/he” “he or she” “it” or “they” depending mostly on my feeling of what sounds best for that one particular sentence.
Now, that we’re all up-to-date, yes Junior left the park at the beginning of July. Mom and Dad left with him/her and returned two weeks later without their kid. From what I’ve learned online about crows, they left to introduce Junior to its older siblings who are still single and who hang out somewhere in town (I assume not too far, but I don’t really know.)
Junior returned briefly a couple of times this summer, most notably on the day of the typhoon (I assume Mom and Dad went to fetch it in order to teach it about typhoons, although… Can crows predict a typhoon? Probably. The air does feel different when a typhoon is coming. It’s hard to explain, maybe something to do with atmospheric pressure. I’m not sure and it’s not our topic today.)
After that, I thought I had seen the last of Junior until it showed up a couple of times while I was feeding its parents.
For the past few days, s/he has been around every day. Except that, now, s/he doesn’t spend all of their time with their parents, so they tend to arrive late when I give treats to the parents and they often miss them. Especially because s/he’s sometimes a bit afraid to come down to the ground.
And yes, this is partly what happened Saturday morning.
First of all, I did something “dangerous” that morning. I heard the crows cawing, and I went on my balcony to check out if I could see them. They were standing on the utility pole where they often stand before I go to work. I’m not sure if they were calling me, they don’t usually do that on the weekend. Don’t get mistaken, remember that they’re very smart, they’re perfectly able to count and understand that five days in a row I leave the house early with the car and the kids, and then two days in a row, I don’t. Me and everyone else in the neighborhood.
Anyway, I threw two peanuts on the ground and they ate them. It was dangerous for two reasons.
First, I don’t want them to learn that if they call I will come. I know where this is going; I’ve read stories online of people who befriended crows who will then knock on their bedroom window for treats. We don’t want that to happen, right?
Second, as they were eating their peanuts a car arrived really fast, too fast for this street (It happens. I hate those motherf*ckers, it’s a street that’s full of small intersections, old people walking their dogs, kids playing, and more), and the crows didn’t move, too enthralled with their peanuts and probably expecting the car to slow down. Luckily the car turned left one block before arriving near my house.
Then, I went for my morning walk and when I returned, they were standing at a spot where they often stay during the day, on the other side of the park from my house.
A few days ago, I complained that my relationship with them was a bit stagnant. I’m now more or less at the same stage of “friendship” that I was last May or June.
Well, let’s rejoice together, something nice happened today.
As I said, I was returning from my morning walk, I saw them, and I showed them the peanuts in my hand and walked to the park. And they followed me until we reached our usual spot in the park! They never did that before!
Some treats were given. Here is Ms. Crow eating some.
Mr. Crow has been a bit mean to her lately. Usually, when I throw two peanuts they each grab one. However, most of the time, when we’re in the park (in the mornings when I leave for work it’s different), it used to happen this way:
- Ms. Crow comes down first, grabs a peanut quickly, and flies further away to a safe distance.
- Mr. Crow comes down second, grabs his peanut, but stays and eats it where he found it if it’s not too close to me.
- And they both wait for round two, Ms. Crow will come a bit closer for the second peanut, but not too close. And she won’t come if it’s too close to me. I’ll have to grab the peanut and throw it again, further away.
But for the past few days it’s been:
- Mr. Crow comes down first, grabs both peanuts as fast as possible, and leaves nothing for Ms. Crow who comes down second and is very sad.
- I try to throw some peanuts at her, hoping she’ll have the courage to come to grab them (as I can’t throw them too far anymore or I may scare Mr. Crow).
I’m not too sure why that is.
Anyway, on Saturday morning, Junior came shortly after. And Junior is not too good at grabbing peanuts.
Actually, Junior still wants to be fed by Mom and Dad, like in this short video where its begging Dad:
But Dad will have none of it.
We’re humans, we find a father refusing to give food to their offspring to be cruel, right? Of course, but while crows are social animals, they’re not as social as us, and all adults are expected to be able to find their food by themselves as soon as possible (if Junior is not completely an adult yet, they almost are) it’s a simple matter of survival.
Junior walking and hoping that some peanuts will appear magically…
Alright, some peanuts did appear!
While Mom and Dad were busy eating I threw one in Junior’s direction and nobody stole it from him/her.
Addendum: I was a bit late finishing this post and this morning something interesting happened.
You can see it here on Mastodon (where I usually post my small crow updates). I think you can read the two posts even if you don’t have an account.
So, yeah, Mom and Dad are adults and Junior is not. Nothing new here.
What’s interesting is how Junior’s youth may help me get closer to the whole family. Never before have the crows walked to the edge of the park and on the sidewalk to follow me. Junior did that and Dad just followed.
Mom and Dad are adults. They know stuff. They have a lot of experience (I don’t know their age, but I don’t think they’re that young.) But just like humans, maybe they’re set in their ways a little bit. The way they now always come for peanuts, but still are a little afraid of me, for example. They know most humans are not to be trusted, so it is taking time for them to trust me.
On the other hand, Junior has known me since it was a little fledgling, unable to really fly and fresh out of the nest. I still remember our first encounter. It made me so happy, after thinking that no fledgling had survived this year. Junior has no reason whatsoever to fear me. When they’re a bit afraid to land on the ground from a higher point, it’s not because of me.
Now, I need to be careful. Junior also doesn’t have a lot of the survival skills and habits their parents have.
Walking out of the park this morning was a bit dangerous. Maybe that’s why Dad followed, in case of danger? I don’t know.
In any case, the crows have followed me twice now.
That’s one step further, I think.
Okay, I can’t resist posting the picture of this morning here, not just on Mastodon:
Alright, that’s all for today, don’t forget to subscribe (click the logo below) if you like what you read and don’t want to miss future updates: