Kickass and murder of crows

Kickass, the doorstop dog, is urging the keeper not to read anything personal into the murder of crows that dominated the view from his—the keeper’s electric chair on a recent morning.

It was a most unusual murder involving 40 or so crows and the constant shuffling and vocalizing of its members left no doubt that something important was afoot.  The keeper’s life-long admiration for the Corvidae family—crows, ravens, jays and magpies, came into play, as did thoughts of the superstition of the crows’ black-feather association with morbidity.  In sorting through his usual junkyard reaction to a situation, the keeper seized on the research-based statement that “A murder of crows proves crows are actually very social and caring creatures, and also among the smartest animals on the planet.”

On another morning a long time ago, the keeper sat before a different “work” window and watched with binoculars as a crow high in a neighbor’s oak tree ate a frozen bluegill.  Witnessing that gave the keeper something to ponder down through the years, not the least of which was the question of where the hell the crow found a frozen bluegill?

A questioning posture seems like the best reaction to the recent murder of crows: Was its purpose to set things in order on the eve of early mating and nesting: Was it to exchange information regarding food sources.  Was it getting together just for social purposes and to see how everyone else is doing?   The keeper and Phyllis and all of the rest of the Covid restricted crew can certainly identify with all of those crow questions, particularly the last one.  And they might even act on it with “A flocking of family and friends.”



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