Observation Logs, Delaware, U.S.A. The American Crow, Corvus brachyrhynchos.
Delaware Crow Observation Logs
This section includes reports of various observers from the State of Dealaware.
Wilmington, Delaware: Reported May 16, 2000
This happen several years ago, at the Audubon House, in Wilmington, Delaware ... more correctly ... Audubon/TriBird State Sanctuary. The house was on Duncan Road, out in the suburbs, but straying into country. Lots of trees. Green green grass. The House was small and looked remarkably lived in. Settled. Considering all the birds that lived there and the activities that went on in this house that isn't surprising (The TriState Bird Rescue Center moved to a much larger space a few years later). Anyway, one Saturday I walked up to this house with a companion/walking buddy. The house was at the end of a long, gray gravel driveway. Nobody was there, answering the knock on the door, so we walked around to the back. The back porch was remarkable -- all sorts of plants, piled high with newspapers, the steps sagging from age and use. There were tall spreading trees in the back, a cage with a runway. On the top step of the back porch were two crows. Large. Bright black. As soon as they saw us they hopped down the sagging steps, walked over to where we stood, under one of those large spreading trees. We were approximately a hundred yards from the back porch so this wasn't a short journey. What amazed/ amused me was that these crows didn't not hesitate, there was no doubt, no "maybe we should do something else", they saw us, hoped down the stairs, walked over to us and systematically, carefully, untied the white laces on the white sneakers my friend was wearing. I thought I would NEVER stop laughing. It was GREAT.
This observation written 17 May 2000. This incident occured approximately 12 years ago. I swear that I what I said here happen. How could I forget? It was the first real clue I had how smart and mischevious crows could really be. (Patricia Lang)
Newark, Delaware: Reported May 17, 2000
This is the second observation I am recording on 17 May 2000. The incident occured within the last five years on the front porch (and garden) of the mobile home I live in Newark, Delaware. The time was within two hours of sunset. I believe the weather was pleasant, may have been Spring hedging into Summer because I stepped out onto the porch in order to do some work in the garden. When I stepped out onto the porch I saw a crow diagonally across the street. He may have been on a telephone wire, sitting on the roof of another Mobile Home, or on the roof of a car. That detail I don't remember.
When I stepped out on the porch, as soon as I stepped out on the porch I saw him across the street, and as soon as I became aware of him, he swooped across the street and landed on the roof of the mobile home I live in, right next to the porch. I greeted him there. He was a couple of yards from me. I like talking to animals and birds, I suspect I have developed a talent for it. I continued to talk to him, he peered at me than flew down from the roof of the trailer to the railing of the porch RIGHT IN FROM OF ME. He was about a foot away from me. I FROZE. I was thrilled and a bit terrified, hate to admit that the first image that came to my mind was the Hitchcock movie the Birds.... I mean this Crow was about a foot away from me! (between 1 foot and 2... emphatically NOT more than two feet).
I talked to him a little bit more but I think my terror was obvious. He cocked his head at me, than hoped back on to the roof of the car that at the foot of the porch steps (on the driveway), I talked a little more to him, and then cautiously went down the steps telling him that I had to go work at the garden. He watched and listen to my voice. Than I went and kneeled in the garden which was right next to the porch (in front of of it) turning my back to the crow. It wasn't that I didn't want to look at him, more that I was trying to give him the calm and peaceful feeling that I meant him no harm. Strange though, I got involved in pulling weeds for a few minutes, and totally forgot about him! (I find that strange since a crow had JUST landed within a foot from me... but I guess I really got into trying not to make him feel threatened.). In a few minutes, I absent-mindedly looked up and was startled to see that the crow had flown from the top of the car over to the porch railing nearest the garden! Nearest ME! I wasn't as scared as I was on the porch, but still felt awkward. It was like a friend had visited and I had nothing to say.
I tried to talk to him (I am convinced that animals and birds, if you talk to them, they may not understand what you are saying but they listen to the tone of your voice, they feel your emotions, i.e., if you're angry or scared, they KNOW...), but felt boring and awkward and I think he sensed that, because after a few minutes he flew back across the street and landed on top of a car. Some folks were packing, so the car was wide open. A young child was near the car, and of course when the crow landed on top of the car she was delighted and reacted to the crow like all children, she bellowed like a crow at the top of her lungs and the crow flew up to the nearest tree. I watched this, disappointed, but said "oh well," and went back to my weeding, thinking that was the end of that. So in a few minutes, when I absent-mindedly looked up I was STARTLED to see the crow back again on the porch railing nearest me and the garden! I greeted him, and then went back to my garden.... and forgot about him! I think about that now, and can't help thinking YOU DOLT... but it was like I was in a Zone, not wanting to startle him.
I finished the weeding, got up, went out to the driveway walked down the driveway a few feet, away from the porch and crossed over onto the front lawn in front of the garden, and nearly lost my balance when the crow, who I had TOTALLY FORGOTTEN ABOUT flew from the porch railing, across the garden and RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME, across the front lawn and across the street to the bordering trees beyond the mobile homes on that side of the road. I stood there, watching him go. He did have a band around his leg, but that's all I know. He was extremely healthy, and beautiful. Some have suggested to me he was "tame". I don't know. What I do know, is he was obviously very AWARE of me... more so than I was of HIM. To me, he proved beyond a shadow of a doubt, how DANG SMART Crows reallly are. (Patricia Lang)
Delaware: Reported May 18, 2000
This observation is being written on 18 May 2000, regarding what I saw a crow do within the last two years. I was getting out of my car in a parking lot near work. Next to this parking lot, is a small lawn, knoll, a longggggggg hill... the grass is fairly tall, tall enough that it is gracefully laying down. The grass does not cover the whole knoll ground, though, near the parking lot are some bare patches of ground. I parked the car right next to this knoll of grass and bare ground. Getting out of the car, I see a crow in the grass. He is a BIG crow, and his feather are immaculate. He attracts my attention immediately, being such a splendid fellow. However, I also noticed that he was doing something peculiar. I was close by, but this didn't phase him one bit, just kept going about his business. So after closing the door to the car, I stood next to the car, watching the crow. He was bobbing his head, picking up what looked to be nuts, or small stones, from one area of the grass, and dropping them into another area of the grass -- back and forth, back and forth. That seem rather simple, to watch and understand. But then... he marched stoutly over to the bare patch of earth picked up a large stone, carried it back to the grass. Then he started to jab . What the? He paused. I saw that he had the large stone, and several of the either small stones or nuts in his beak, in a line... I am 98% sure the smaller objects were nuts. Than he jab jab jabbed in one spot in the grass. Than he lifted his head and had nothing in his beak.
I am not sure WHAT he did -- but my distinct impression at the time was that he had just used a tool. (Patricia Lang)
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