Elusive American Crows

American crows live on the property south of us. Over the winter they parade around in the pasture. If I stop to take pictures, they fly.

Over the winter some crows come up to visit in the north and south pastures. They parade around in the grass and call to each other. They stay out of camera range.

Crows like this one are wary
Crows are large birds, nearly a foot tall. It is still not big enough to photograph when the closest a person can get is almost a thousand feet away. This crow was probing between the grass clumps for grubs and other creatures to eat. They also check out the black walnuts from last fall to see if they have split open making it easy to eat the nut inside.

When we first moved here, we met a man driving by who saw us and stopped to talk. He was out for an afternoon drive to shoot crows. He didn’t want them for any purpose, only to shoot them.

This made no sense to us. The crows weren’t a bother as we didn’t have corn growing. That got cancelled by the raccoons.

One year some of my half grown chicks disappeared from their pen. I watched and spotted a crow. It flew into the black walnut over the pen, then dropped down to kill and carry off a chick.

I headed for the barn for some baling twine and a stepstool. An hour later the top of the chick pen had a loose netting of baling twine. The crow went elsewhere.

crows eat chicks
Crows stay in family groups to go foraging. This one landed in the chickenyard looking for anything edible. I think the adult hens were too big to tempt the crow, but I’m glad I came by just in case.

This is an old method of discouraging predacious birds I found in a Countryside Journal about thirty years ago. It relies on their fear of being trapped.

The birds don’t know what the twine is. What they see is something over the space that may make it impossible for them to fly off. I’ve used it successfully for hawks and crows.

Walking out in the north pasture a couple of birds were off toward the fence. The pasture has some rises in it so I was hidden from them. I got my camera ready.

The crows came into view. I got a couple of pictures before they flew off. They will hang around for another month so I might get another chance.

Hazel Whitmore raises chicks in “Old Promises“.