Observation Logs, Alabama, U.S.A. The American Crow, Corvus brachyrhynchos.
Alabama Crow Observation Logs
This section includes reports of various observers from the State of Alabama.
Montgomery, Alabama: April 15 - present (submitted 5/5/00)
Location_Description: Our yard and that of our neighbors is heavily treed. The back of our lots has very tall large trees.
Behavior: A baby crow was found walking about my yard and I saved it from the cats and dogs. About 5 crows were standing guard in the trees cawing enough to wake the dead. The baby was fully feathered so we thought it could fly and put it up on the roof but it just walked around til it fell and flitted into the back yard. I took it to the vet and he said the wings are fine but it just isn't old enough to fly. So for 3 weeks we have been feeding this messy bird on dog food worms, crickets, canned cherries is a favorite, corn and peas, hamburger etc. It can fly over the fence now but can not seem to reach the tree branches. The four guardian crows come down to see him twice a day when we let him out for an hour and a half. The baby can fly over our pool but does not seem to land well.
Today I left him out for a longer time and about 9 crows came. Some stayed in the trees but 6 were on the ground with him and seemed to have a noisy reunion. I put bread and corn out to encourage them to come again. I am beginning to wonder if this huge baby will ever fly away. How old do crows have to be ususally to fly? If I do not have him outside by 5 a.m. the crows start up a racket outside me door waiting for him. It is remarkable that not a day has gone by that they have come and cared about him. They have never given up. I am begining to worry that little "Nevermore" has fallen on his head once to much and is a bit retarded! (Jane Rudick)
CONTINUED MAY 8, 2000
Friday (5/5/00) afternoon I let Nevermore out as usual and left him for about 2 hours. He hid between the house and the shrubbery a lot of the time and he pecked about the yard for peas that I had thrown out on the lawn. His relatives cawed and came down as usual to visit. I retrieved him several times from vines that he seemed caught in and chased off the neighbors cat but for the most part I stayed in doors and watched from a window. Saturday I let him out in both the morning and afternoon. He really ate more than usual and developed an appetite for avocado and tuna and worms. He flew to a bush and then a higher bush but then he just walked about the driveway and after a while I had to go so he was caged again.
Sunday we began the routine earlier as his family woke me with the dawn demanding that he be brought out. There were more crows about 12 this time and I went inside while they swooped down (perhaps showing him how to fly) they watched from the Magnolia trees and telephone poles and 4 landed then 8 and they hopped right up to him and did a little dance with their feet and fanning their wings and made a lot of excited noise. After 30 minutes later all of them left except 3. Sunday at noon Nevermore wanted out and was fanning his wings so I decided that I had time to try again. I cawed and the family who was used to my routine was not close by but managed to come within a few minutes to watch and cheer. Nevermore took off and made it up to the high branch of a tree only to be dived bombed by a family of mocking birds. Nevermore held that position for about 10 minutes and flew across the fence and landed next in the neighbor's yard. I held their dog at the fence for an eternity till Nevermore flew to a pine tree with his family. Then they all took off. Sunday afternoon at 5 p.m. as I drove in the driveway there was Nevermore walking on the drive and 3 other crows were on the grass eating corn that I had thrown out. The larger three flew off as I drove in and then a second or two later Nevermore flew off too. This morning I could hear them in the woods behind my house. I have gotten so that I can recognize some of the different tones and calls and I am sure that Nevermore is the smallest voice that I hear.
It is a joy to know that Nevermore has graduated to the tall trees in the wood. I was truly amazed that his family remained ever loyal to him and continued to encourage him throughout the many weeks. The cage is empty now but you never know what the day may bring. (Jane Rudick)
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