[Tweeters] Crawling Under Crow

Jeff Gibson gibsondesign at msn.com
Sat Mar 28 03:02:58 PDT 2015

These days, my dear ol' Mother, spends a lot of time crawling around the yard, and that's a good thing. Mom has bad knees, and balance issues, so crawling is a good way to go. Hey, she's just not idly crawling around - Mom is working! She's weeding her yard! She likes it.

Well, yesterday Mom was out sitting in the gravel driveway, digging out little weeds with a hand shovel, when I checked up on her. Spotting me in the garage, she motioned me over, using international sign language. It is sort of cool how a person, sitting with their butt on the ground, can, with a few body moves, indicate that you should come out right away(!) but be kind of sneaky about it. Mom had discovered something interesting.
"What's that bird up there?" Mom sort of whispered to me, pointing up over her shoulder into the branches of the nearby Locust tree. "Oh, that's a Crow" I replied. "Well, it sounds kinda funny" she said. Mom was right.
Currently operating with rapidly increasing memory loss, Ol' Ma forgets her bird I.D. frequently, and like many of us, had her inner bird call app set on default mode. Crows call CAW! - we all know that. But this Crow was making a sort of funny sounding call that Crows can also make - what it sounded like to me was like a wah, wah baby cry, that in cartoon soundtracks is often mimicked with a trumpet or trombone. Just two single calls, followed by beak clacks. Then repeated. Wah wah, clack clack .
Not being able to trust my aging hearing, I wasn't to sure I was hearing those beak clacks (or clicks) so I got my binocs out of my nearby truck, and did confirm that the sound was being made by the Crow. By it's posture, it seemed to be projecting the sounds southward - communicating something to a far off family member. I did see a Crow out nearby earlier in the morning grabbing a stick, presumably for nest material, so maybe the conversation was about homebuilding? I don't speak Crow so I don't know. Interesting though.
So there you go - with a bit of body language, and some listening , you can have some fun right in your own yard! Sometimes the sign language around here isn't as much fun, like after repeating to my Mom for the tenth time of the day, that no, she actually can't drive her car anymore (lost her license, Thank God and the DMV), she gets upset and give's me the finger, or as we say here on Tweeters, Flips Me The Bird.
Jeff GibsonPort Townsend Wa

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