5-Part Fugue with Crow

Recording of Elvis and Bach 5-part Fugue in C# Minor

Attached is a recording of my old buddy Elvis cawing along to Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier Book I, the C# minor fugue. He sang along with the prelude very nicely too but here he came in quite strong, and then managed to carry on somewhere where there was an echo, creating his own “reverb.” How ingenious of him. In any event, I was pleased to discover this recording because he has a lovely voice, unlike any other crow I have heard since, and I suspect if I was really paying attention all along I might be able to discern certain crows by their voices.

In the park I had a crow friend I called Sam–should he turn out to be Samantha–who is probably by now paired up with someone else of his own species, but we became good friends soon after he had fledged. I remember his first spring after leaving the nest, he was hanging out with other crows when a young Cooper’s Hawk decided to threaten him. When he just barely evaded attack, the Cooper’s must have made an impression on him because he memorized the Cooper’s Hawk’s call perfectly, and for quite a while afterward almost every time he saw me, Sam would imitate the Cooper’s Hawk. It soon became a little joke we shared with each other. In fact I had become so used to Sam imitating the Cooper’s Hawk that a year or so later I did not pay attention in the company of crows when I heard a Cooper’s Hawk, only to look above my head and suddenly realize it was an actual Cooper’s Hawk and not Sam imitating one!

The park crows do have a special call when they see me, it’s usually CAW-caw-caw, which I like to imagine is “Lisa’s here.” But they also do one that is more “CAW caw, CAW caw” which could be “hot dogs, hot dogs.” I hope as the crow numbers increase I will be able to hear and distinguish more vocalizations.

Anyway, my apologies to Bach for this somewhat feeble early rendition of his fugue.

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