Spotted this guy and a couple friends, yesterday.
Not terribly exotic for most people but the sight of this crow left me feeling a bit astonished. This marks the first crow I’ve seen in Austin since I moved here ten+ years ago. I heard the call first but refused to believe my own senses and just kept walking. Then I saw his friends take flight and I felt my heart squeeze with happiness. Though his buddies flew off abruptly he stayed slightly longer to finish gobbling up a bit of something that looked like a mushroom.
Crows, jays and magpies were ubiquitous in Alberta where I grew up and always a delight to watch. When I moved to the west coast I became acquainted with ravens. Corvids are simply some of my favourite birds.
I once saw a raven dive into a trash can to pull out a bag of green grapes that some kid must have tossed out from their lunch bag. The raven then meticulously OPENED the zip lock bag using its beak and feet. It was hard going but he somehow managed and one person’s unappreciated fruit became another’s bounty. And yes ravens are people. Maybe more than people. On the left coast they are considered sacred beings by many. They even sing songs that sound a bit like marimbas — a musical language.
The Canada Jay/Gray Jay is another bird I miss. They are fearless. It used to be that if you went hiking in the Rocky Mountains and stopped to eat they would almost immediately join in. I have had them perch on my hand when offered a nibble or two. I admit I felt a little bit like a Disney princess. =)
For the record: I have no complaints about the grackles here who seem to occupy the niche that crows usually inhabit. Grackles have their own charms. It was just such a happy surprise to see a real live crow!