A Crow’s Tale


The other morning on my way into work I came upon a rather alarming scene which got me to wondering if Crows do some moulting around this time.  Here is Vancouver there is an activity that occurs at dawn and at dusk without fail.  At dawn 1,000’s of crows fly from Still Creek in Burnaby which neighbors Vancouver proper, into the downtown core of the City.  They then disperse and do whatever it is Crows do with their day.  I have several that come and sit in front of my office window.  From my understanding of these birds, they are likely the same birds.  There are two that sit each day around 2:00 PM and groom each other.

At dusk the 1,000’s of crows converge once again and fly back out to Still Creek where they hunker down for the night.
The other morning I came up to Boundary Road which is the street that divides Vancouver and Burnaby.  There is a long boulevard that runs the length of Boundary Road.  I drove down to where I turn and make my way into the City and all along the boulevard were thousands of crow feathers.  The boulevard was just black with them.  So either a mass murder of crows occurred or they moult around this time.  Curious now, I did research it and yes, they do moult.  That would have been something to watch.  To see them sitting in the trees along the boulevard picking loose feathers off one another.  What an interesting little phenomenon. They are wonderful birds though.  Very interesting social network and very intelligent.

I will have to watch for this behaviour next year.  Perhaps I will have the opportunity to witness this event.  I could hole up at the Wendy’s Burger joint on the corner, pull out the binoculars and have a boo.

Trust me, this will fade from memory until I once again see the feathers on the ground then I will once more want to be party to it.

They are interesting beings.  Have you ever seen a funeral mass?  If a crow dies unnaturally, they all gather, 100’s of them and sit without making a sound.  They will sit, just staring for and hour at times.  Then they all just fly away.  But not one sound comes out of them.  One woman that I worked with witnessed this event and she told me she was so creeped out by it.  I actually find it quite beautiful that they honour their dead in this manner.

I have watched the fight for dominance over an area.  Very loud!  I really did think that someone was getting killed that time.

Still, the thing that always intrigues and that I find so breathtaking is watching the 1,000’s of crows as they fly at dusk up to Still Creek.  Look back at the sky and there is a trail of them that spans a few miles.  They fly the same pattern daily as well.  They always seem to converge in the False Creek area then head up along the Grandview cut over to Still Creek.

Very cool.

Well this  is my odd little whimsy for this week.  Have a great weekend and see you back here next week as the crow flies.

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