Monday, March 26, 2007

Crows' nests

Today I went out for a little while, and stopped at a little park near our house. It is a beautiful spring day, and I sat under this tree.

That is my bicycle.

I sat on the bench and observed, across the park, a crow's nest, with a crow in it.

I sat there and tried to imagine one of those hooligans being a mother. It wasn't easy. But actually I didn't need to imagine it. I could see a crow tail. The crow was definitely there, being motherly.

After a while I caught a glimpse of movement above me, and looked up.

How come I'd never noticed thrushes around here before, and suddenly this year I've seen two? Maybe it was the same one. Maybe it followed me from the paddy field.

(Correction: It is not a thrush. It is a bulbul.)

As I tried to focus on the thrush (and about twenty clicks later finally succeeded) I noticed a big blob in the tree, much higher up. It had to be another crow's nest, but something about it looked ... odd.

I zoomed in, and clicked. Then I checked out the picture I'd taken, and zoomed it some more. I saw a much blurrier version of this:

(I took another thirty or so photos, and the one above is the only one that was in focus. I also ended up with a crick in my neck.)

I tried to find other angles to take pictures from, but the only place the nest was visible from was underneath, more or less where I was sitting on the bench beside the bicycle in the first picture.

While I was showing The Man the pictures just now, he commented that the two crow's nests are entirely different in style. We came to the conclusion that the log cabin-style nest belongs to a hippie back-to-nature crow who eats only organically grown rubbish. The coat hanger nest, on the other hand, belongs to an avant-garde, modernist crow, who collects rubbish and calls it 'found art,' and who believes that art shouldn't be comfortable.


Wiccachicky said...

We've had some crows here recently. They've been beating up the other little birds for food. No nests in sight, but they have to live near by.

kenju said...

The coat hanger nest is a marvel of engineering. I wonder what the blue stuff is?

Last year, I found a bird nest on my front porch, and it was woven with silver Christmas tree tinsel. (A Martha Stewart bird, no doubt!)

Badaunt said...

Wiccachicky: I saw one chasing a wagtail down at the river yesterday. I don't think they're in competition for the same sort of food - it was just being mean. But the wagtail wasn't bothered - it could change direction a lot faster.

If your crows look like they're hunting for nest materials, hide your coat hangers!

Kenju: The blue is the coat hangers. The wire hangers from dry cleaners are always coated with blue plastic here, although that doesn't make them any less likely to poke you in the eye if you're not careful. I can't understand why we don't have a lot of one-eyed crows around here.

Also, the tinsel nests sound lovely. My mum used to give us kids scraps of brightly coloured wool to hang up in the trees in early spring, and the sparrows and other birds would collect them for their nests. The birds in our neighbourhood had the best decorated nests in town! But we never thought of giving them tinsel. What a brilliant idea.

Doris said...

I love the analysis of the nest styles!

Cheryl said...

My mind boggles. I simply cant imagine a crow in flight, with a mouthful of coathanger; which is presumably what it would take to get from A to B?
Wonderful :-)

Radioactive Jam said...

Dry-cleaned crow's nest? Hmm...

There's a motel near "here" named the Bird's Nest Motel. Seriously, would you take a room there? Not me.

Colleen MacDonald said...

what an interesting story about the crows nests. you seem to have found some very fascinating crows...
we have great crows here near Vancouver,too!

Anonymous said...

I am a lover of crows. I even have a couple of years trying to imitate their call sound (awh awh, sort of). Your shot of the clothes hanger nest is just great. May I ask you what kind of camera and lenss you used to be able to get such a great zoom at it?
You can answer me to my e-mail: