Although I am certain I heard the first begging cries of a baby crow almost two months ago, only to have the park grow quiet again, this week I was fortunate enough to see my first fledgling. And the crows seem to be glad I’ve stopped hunting for migrants and can devote more attention to them.
There may have been a sibling close by stuck up in the trees, but this youngster was determined to get in on the action when I showed up with my usual bag of peanuts.
The begging never stopped.
I suspect by the time I see these youngsters, they are already well on the path to being weaned.
Almost as if mom (or dad) is saying, if you’re big enough to come down here and harass me you can start feeding yourself.
Begging, begging, begging and getting nowhere. Part of the problem might have been my presence with the camera. Although the birds are really used to me, they have to observe some wild protocol. The fledgling finally got a morsel only when hidden behind the fence. I loved hearing that squeal of delight from the youngster when the parent’s beak entered its mouth. I wonder if the parent crows find the sound delightful too…added reinforcement for the behavior?
But oh, how a bird’s life changes the moment it figures out how to get its own food. The quest for food leads to endless discovery and the world becomes the crow’s oyster. Someday our youngster will grow up to be a beautiful “pinup” crow like the one below.