Corvus brachyrhynchos brachyrhynchos

When I unreel the log line of bird memories the last knot is a Crow. I remember (back in the early seventies) asking my father what were those birds walking in a field. A set of their eggs formed the nucleus of my collection. They came from a nest in Prospect Park, Brooklyn, located in a tree far too conspicuous for daylight robbery. My brother and I staged a night foray and it fell to him to shin the tree. He got more than the eggs for there was a vine of poison ivy around the tree trunk!

A long list of good and bad adjectives could be used in the Crow's life history and around their Machiavellian reputations cling innumerable avian legends.

I soon altered my idea that it was smart to shoot a Crow but until man changes his belief in his right of death over other animals, Crows will continue to be executed.

Looking over our valley from the porch this warm September day, I see four Crows in the far field eating a grub breakfast. A faint forerunner of Autumn lingers until the sun clears the eastern rim. Their voices as they discuss the menu are mellowed.

I have watched them in grotesque love-making and wondered that such softened notes could come from the same throat which shouts raucously at an intruder; have seen them struggle thru winter-cold so hungry they almost dared our suet. They can go in peace because the spirit they show in facing the razoredge of life is fine. Egotists and dogmatists will not find me on the jury of our best known bird-citizen.


Eastern North America from Newfoundland to Georgia. West to beginning of arid area.

Birds and Trees of North America
Volume 8
, Plate
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