Friday, January 28, 2011

Winter Entertainment

Clever birds, crows....noisy and annoying at's true, however, I'm rather partial to them myself, admiring their determination, strength and primal beauty.

Three feeders in the back garden provide different "menus"...nuts, niger and sunflower seed. While not intended for them, the nut feeder is favored by the crows, and they will preform the greatest show and stunt exhibition, trying to please their appetite.

Where the green metal meets the plastic, there is a thin space; some crows have learned they can hook their talons in that space and hang straight down, grabbing as much food as possible, holding on as long as possible. The bird in the photo below has managed one claw around a perch while the other is clinging (unseen) to the green metal ridge.

The black beauties who don't know the "toe maneuver" (as we call it) or have the ability to actually feed "properly" as in the first photo, exhibit a little dance ... grasp two perches, giving a good flapping shake...knocking nuts to ground below. It really is quite remarkable to watch all this.

While the garden goes on, waiting for winter's leaving and spring's arrival. It won't be long and crow lovers will meet and crow babies will be made....healthy offspring of mothers enriched with good winter nut protein. Crows are the first birds we see in spring flying with nesting materials; before long, they return with their young who are equally as large as themselves. You know the babies though..the're the ones crying their hearts out to be fed...more nuts please.

Feed your resident birds through the winter, and they will be devoted to you and your garden all year long.


  1. I'm a fan of the crows as well! They give me hours of entertainment when I'm in the garden. Really nice photo's Brenda! :)

  2. They are great photos Brenda! We enjoy the bird watching too!

  3. Oh those crows, so frustrating and so entertaining all in one package. Our garbage was not picked up due to storm this week and the crows keep working on getting the can open. I laugh at their persistance but am getting tired of shooing them off. Perhaps I should offer them nuts in exchange.

  4. Hi Brenda, entertaining and smart birds the corvids are aren't they. You've captured it well here.

    The biggest occassional visitors in my garden are the Jackdaws and they will knock feeders to get peanuts out too. It's funny watching their head tip this way and that as they try to plan for success. I would never imagined that crows would be interested in niger seed.

    Yes, soon you'll have your garden back again with buds, blooms and birds breeding. Colour will ressume. Meantime, have a great weekend :-)

  5. I have been delighted by the birds in my new garden. I keep a list of all that I see come, and experiment with different feeders and foods.

    I love crows and rooks so would have no problem with them using my feeders, but mainly it is tits and finches and tree sparrows.

    The squirrels are a pest though so need a plan to deter them.

  6. The crows are so smart! Candace Savage has a great book on crows called 'Crows: Encounters with the Wise Guys of the Avian World'.. more recently she wrote a book on bees too - excellent! I love your crow garden art as well.. They're such clever buggers!

  7. I am mad for crows. I am a crow, I think. We haven't had the feeders out since we had chickens but now will put them out again...

  8. To me crows always seem mysterious and therefore somewhat magical. it is no wonder that the are the subject of some much folklore.

  9. Amazing how crows draw out emotion....thank you all for your great comments.

    Yes Jennifer...mysterious and magical, I think so too...Jan..yes, you are a crow...but a good crow))). Niki thanks for the heads up on Candace Savage's book, so appreciated!! and Marguerite..yes they can be frustrating and entertaining but as Shirl smart!!

    Thanks Neil and Susan, Michele and Shirl for your kind comments on the photos...BIRDCAM..Wingscape...just getting used to it. Can't get an inch near a crow to photograph normally so was pleased we did get these photos...until the squirrel jumped on the cam and whoops...shooting the sky.