Carrion Crow at Chew Valley Lake

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.

Carrion Crow, Chew Valley Lake

Carrion Crow, Chew Valley Lake

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.

Carrion Crow - close up

Carrion Crow – close up

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.

10 thoughts on “Carrion Crow at Chew Valley Lake

  1. I am one of the few that says crows are my favourite bird. They are so intelligent and have a deep devotion to family. They even grieve when another crow dies. They also help raise their siblings and know how to use tools to get food. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There is much more to them than might at first meet the eye. I read that they are easily as intelligent as some of the higher apes. A pair live near me and they are very smart indeed.


    1. That’s a brilliant shot, its difficult to photograph birds as they don’t stay still for long. Black ones like the corvids are even more challenging as they can end up being dark blobs without much definition. I like rooks – they appear quite fearsome – this one seems particularly huge with its feathers puffed out!


  2. Lovely texture on the back of the bird. I love seeing the individual feathers! I find it curious that ravens are considered beautiful but crows are not when they really only differ in size and prevalence. I have seen ravens only a few times in my life. Crows are seen everywhere. But you are right, they are very smart and really pretty.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I thought its feathers were beautiful, nature is so clever – flight, insulation and grace all in one tiny object. I have only seen ravens at the Tower of London and it was a very long time ago. I remember them being huge. We don’t have so many crows at home, I think like many countryside birds they were persecuted over the years. Fortunately that’s changed now but there are still more rooks than crows.


  3. I always had the feeling that crows were not only intelligent but in possession of some sort of collective intelligence. It just seemed to me that they all know each little kindness or injustice that’s been done by any single individual…
    …and you just verified it.
    How close were you anyway? Clearly you’ve never been ‘bad’ 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Well here’s the thing – it was almost as if the crow knew me, or at least it knew I meant it no harm. It looked me straight in the eye several times and I’m sure it worked out a lot more about me than I could about it as we studied each other. We were about 10 feet apart, far enough for it to escape if I got any closer and close enough to share some kind of unspoken communication which meant it was completely unruffled by my various antics when trying to capture its portrait!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s