Crows are often wary of humans so getting close to them isn’t always easy. They are intelligent, observant and move away quickly if they anticipate danger.
This one was wary but had worked out when people come to the lake to feed the geese, ducks and swans, not all the food makes it into the water.
It waited patiently appraising itself of our human faces and assessing our motives. Apparently crows can identify individual humans and recognise people who’ve been spiteful to them in the past. It’s also thought they can share this information with other crows so as to ensure ‘bad’ people are avoided. It quickly realised I wasn’t a threat and took the opportunity to look at me from several angles while I tried to photograph it.
Turning its head from side to side it watched the ducks and geese but unlike the gulls it didn’t attempt to mob or bully its way to a meal. As soon as the other birds returned to the water the crow hopped down from its perch and began combing the area in search of discarded grains. It has probably followed this ritual hundreds of times – assess the humans, watch the other birds feeding, note where seed lies part-hidden between the rocks and wait… Wait patiently until the feeding frenzy subsides then casually comb the area picking up the leftovers without attracting unwanted attention.
I’ve never known anyone who names the crow their favourite bird. Crows aren’t particularly glamorous, they don’t enjoy a sweetly melodic voice, their plumage isn’t brightly coloured and their nests are untidy piles of sticks. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder though and for me there’s something very appealing about these handsome, lustrous and highly intelligent birds.