No longer distracted by passerine migration, it’s time to get caught up with the crows. Available territories downtown have shrunk considerably and with it the resident crow population. But a couple weeks ago, on May 20, to be exact, I caught my first glimpse of two fledgling crows at Lake Shore East Park.
Every year the breeding season seems to start earlier, and this is by far the earliest I have seen crow kids. So young their eyes hadn’t turned brown yet.
Then I went down to the lakefront parks before work on May 29, and while individual crows were not following me, I witnessed a joyous celebration of fifty to sixty crows (a true “murder”) out on their Spring Fling. I never know how they organize these group flight events, whether they all came from a communal roost or if there was an invitation to fly en masse over Michigan Avenue to crows up and down the lakefront, but whatever brought them together that morning to fly repeatedly overhead, it was a sight to behold. I couldn’t shoot pictures of them in the air fast enough.
But at one point they all descended upon a fire escape, so I could capture some of the group.
Yesterday at Lake Shore East Park I snuck a few peanuts to the parent crow and waited to see if this was going to be a peanut-cracking lesson.
But it looks like it was more like a Start-to-Wean-You event.
Not as many opportunities this year, without the bigger, continuous park space, to spoil the kids early and teach them bad habits. I suspect they will be going on more field trips with the larger community. That’s good, in a way. They will learn first to be wild.