Friday, October 9, 2009

bird watching of a different kind....

at times we all do queer things, sometimes out of interest, and sometimes just to kill time. i have always loved to observe birds, watch them…carrying out various activities. i used to spend afternoons in our back yard, watching them in our garden, beaver birds, babblers, mynahs, even the common sparrows, sometimes lucky to see a raven, a sunbird, or even a kingfisher….

last week i was in mahim, at my cousin’s place near shivaji park, he occupies a 4th floor apartment, the drawing room has a huge sliding window, that opens on the road leading to ruparel college… such opportunities for some interesting bird watching:)…..and then theres a huge tree, a few branches coming very close to this sliding window. since i saw a crow sitting very close to the window, i slid the curtain first, so that the crow cudnt see me, and then, slid open the glass pane a bit, and very quietly, and also moved the curtain just a few mm, and i cud see this crow from a distance of 3 feet or so.

it looked like a young bird, its ruffled hair was wet, from the rains, it was trembling and shaking a bit, trying to loosen up or may be dry itself, by shaking its wings, it was also eagerly rubbing its beak on the branch to keep it clean. then another crow appeared, and sat about a foot away from this young guy. this one was an oldie, looked his age, and haggard. the hair on top of its head in tatters, a glum look on its face. not looking at the happenings around below…it then slowly began to shift sideways, one step at a time, slowly, till it came near the young lad.

as it sat just next to the young crow, it tilted its head, very near to the younger one, and then as if on an instinct, the young crow began to probe the old guy’s head slowly with its beak, he was prodding along and looking for ticks i guess, or just nursing him maybe, i could also see a bruise on the head. i cursed myself for not getting my camera. the young one kept on sort of caressing the area near the bruise for a few minutes, very gently with its beak, and while it did this, the old guy, kept silent, its head tilted, eyes closed, looking relaxed. after a few mins, as if feeling better, and satisfied, the old one slowly moved away, and the youngster flew off… the elder crow was treated of whatever it was suffering from, at least temporarily!

for me, it was a very brief yet unique insight into the lives of crows, especially when us humans have started to increasingly ignore our elder generation, forcing them to be on their own, in several cases….


vicious said...

a nice read !!!

Vittaldas Prabhu said...

It made a very light read. Again the attention to detail is just impeccable, it is a characteristic of all of your writings. These mute creatures of nature are always ready to help each other, and here we are trying extremely hard to help our own selves.


Jccross316 said...

Crows are very caring for one another and for other wildlife such as wildbirds that come to my bird feeding stations. The crows in my yard protect the songbirds from hawks every morning-Crows do not eat wild birds at my feeders, after watching the crows for one year,never once have they attacked or killed wildbirds, the crows and wildbirds seem to comfort one another and do not fear one another.After my observation my conclusion is that both crows and wild birds live amongst eachother in harmony, the wildbirds have become dependent on the protection of the crows at the feeders, the wildbirds wait for the crows caws before they come out of the trees to feed, this is truly amazing to observe.The crows in my yard also give out warning calls to the wildbirds if they have seen a cat.. I dont have to worry about hawks stalking my feeders due to the crows chase them off, they are well protected by the crows. It took about 1 month for the wild birds and crows to become comfortable around eachother- The crows made it very clear to the wildbirds they were not there to harm them but to protect them.The wild birds often perch on the same branch as the crows. truly amazing.

Jccross316 said...

I Love crows. Amazing raptures, Crows proetc my bird feeders from hawks... I am very thankful for these beautiful creatures, crows also give out warning calls to all wildbirds who eat at my feeders when they see a cat.