[Tweeters] RE Crows washing food

Kathy Hartman kathartman at yahoo.com
Fri Jun 7 13:28:24 PDT 2013

I'm having the same issue, but most of the food the crows are dunking in the birdbath is coming from neighbors (don't know which ones yet) who seem to feel it's ok to leave pizza crusts, chicken bones, etc. out where animals can get them. Not kidding -- I've had an ENDLESS stream of pizza crusts and chicken bones coming through my yard -- for several weeks.

But, here's something interesting I found last night on the Cornell Lab of Ornithology site (http://www.birds.cornell.edu/crows/crowfaq.htm):

Crows and all members of the family Corvidae will store excess food. Sometimes you can see crows bury things in the grass of the yard (usually covering it up with a leaf or plucked grass; sometimes looking at it several times and using a number of different coverings before being satisfied that it really is hidden). They also hide food in trees or rain gutters, or whatever is a handy spot. At this time of the year (April) crows are nesting, and the female breeder sits all day on the eggs or young nestlings. She leaves the nest only infrequently and the male and the helpers bring her food. Food is easy to bring (all pecked into pieces and stashed in the throat under the tongue), but water is harder. So, crows often will dunk dry foods in water and take the moistened food to the nest. It is likely that that is what is going on in the birdbath.

So, can't blame the crows, but I can still blame my neighbors. :P


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