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Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Five Crows

What kind of day is a five crow day? Today, five crows were the only birds I saw. They flew past this morning as I said goodbye to my inlaws outside in the driveway. The rest of the day I spent inside with the kids, recovering from the overstimulation of the holidays.

Most "real" birders probably wouldn't consider five crows a notable sighting. Crows are common. You could see five crows without even trying (like I did today). There is nothing sporty about finding five crows. Nothing worth noting at all.

Except when you start to wonder about those crows. Most likely, a group of five crows is a family group--probably two parents and their young. This time of year, the family group may consist of young from this year as well as a couple older young birds from last year--birds spending their last few months with the family before heading out to find their own territories.

Whether I know it or not, there is something going on with those five crows...they have a history, one that continues each day when they awake. The adults will probably spend the rest of their lives in short flying distance of my driveway. I may see them from time to time and just note two crows, three crows, or even five crows. My life may intersect with them at odd points in time as I happen to be in the yard as they fly by.

For most of us, these five crows could well symbolize our relationship with birds. Distant. Impersonal. We see them, and note them. Or not. But we really don't know them.

The sighting of five crows is an indictment. An admission that I don't know my local crows. A friend at work knows her crows. She can call them and they will come. She feeds them. Talks to them. Knows where they go and where they spend the night.

But for me, I merely note that five crows flew across the road and through the trees behind the row of townhomes on the other side of the street. They called...or at least one of them called...but I don't know what it was calling for.

Five crows. Living an ancient crow lifestyle amidst 21st Century humans and their technology. Knowing their business perhaps better than we know theirs. And for all I know, we may be less anonymous to them, than they are to me. Perhaps they know me as the guy who leaves early each morning in the red Mazda Protege, often returning after the sun has gone down.

Many of us barely know our human neighbors, let alone our neighborhood crows. But I, for one, vow to do better. To know my crows. And to be known by them as more than a passing figure in their life.


Anonymous said...

This is fascinating. I will never think of the crows picking through our garbage on the back portch the same again!

Anonymous said...

5 is for silver

theres a ryme for counting crows (not the band though they used it)

1 for sorrow
2 for joy
3 for marage
4 for birth
5 for silver
6 for gold
7 for a secret never to be told

Anonymous said...

After starting a new job, I took to eating my lunch outside on the grass. I soon noticed one or two crows who'd come to watch me every day, so began to leave them daily scraps of cake. One day I arrived at my familiar spot to find a dissected mouse. The crow watched me eat, and when I'd finished and backed away, it came down and took the mouse back. I've now told it I'm a vegetarian.

Anonymous said...

I really enjoyed reading this ...You write beautifully, almost poetic, with a real talent for the right words on the right place . Five Crows is a small masterpiece !

Roger; Belgium.

Alisa said...

You truly have a gift with words!
I have some crows that visit me daily, and I so enjoy seeing them.

Have you ever heard of them described as flying monkeys because they are so smart and funny? just a short time in their company and the description proves true.

I included a link to this article from my own blog. Best Wishes to you:) Alisa

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