The Essence of True (Crow) Love

Cookie Crow 2-17-15-4415

Ah…Birdz Cookies!

Or you could just say Food is Love in just about any language. Like Music…

In the midst of this miserable cold, my crow friends and I are reunited in thought and purpose. Last week they sent me a request for Birdz Cookies, and so it was Birdz Cookies on Monday and Tuesday. On Monday, I put out lots of peanuts and broke up the cookie pieces on top of them, and the Crows went straight for the cookies.

Then yesterday, after two days of cookies, why not some of those delicious hot dogs I used to bring?

Hot Dog Crows 2-18-15-4608

Between my knee event (which I am happy to report is totally over), the weather, the baby boom indoors and other distractions, I haven’t managed to get up early and visit the crows an hour before work all winter, so I have focused on the Millennium Park bunch whenever I get out for a late lunch break, and now that my knee is working properly the weather becomes less of an excuse for staying inside when I realize my friends don’t have that choice.

WTSP 2-17-15-4014

White-Throated Sparrow

Sparrows 2-18-15-4550

Sparrows, mainly House

NOCA and HOSP 2-17-15-4386

Northern Cardinal and House Sparrow, both males

This has also been good for the Cardinals, Chickadees, White-Throated Sparrows and House Sparrows.

NOCA 2-16-15-3832

On Monday, the male Northern Cardinal actually came toward me and posed for pictures when I pointed the camera at him. It had to do with the peanuts I shelled and left for him on Friday. He was asking me to repeat the favor, which I did after taking a few more pictures. Then later he was down on the ground sampling the general offering.

NOCA 2-16-15-3818 NOCA 2-17-15-4404

On Tuesday I was surprised to see the Robins back at what I believe must be some type of hawthorn trees in the northwest corner of the park, I guess to clean up every last fruit they might have left on their last visit.

AMRO 2-17-15-4315 AMRO 2-17-15-4302

The Black-Capped Chickadees have been more about food than enticing me to take their pictures.

BCCH 2-17-15-4383

Black-Capped Chickadee

But from time to time the female Cardinal wasn’t too shy to engage the lens.

NOCA 2-17-15-4330

NOCA 2-17-15-4325So as cold as it is I will probably venture out again today. The sun is shining brightly, and it is always a bit warmer by the lake, even in this extreme cold. It’s amazing how much even one or two degrees makes a difference.

WTSP & NOCA 2-17-15-4079 Cookie Crow 2-17-15-4417

The “what-to-feed-the crows next?” question has been on my mind, since after cookies and hot dogs, simply peanuts seems too mundane. So I rustled up an omelette this morning with about 10 eggs that have been in the refrigerator too long to boil for the indoor crowd’s egg food. I figure the crows have probably sampled Egg McMuffins and will recognize an omelette (indeed I think one crow sent me the thought on the way in that I could have added cheese — ha!). Plus it’s eggs in a cache-and-stash form.

WTSP 2-17-15-4436

White-Throated Sparrow

I do intend to wade through the Gull Frolic pictures by the weekend…but the park birds were making it a lot easier for me to post about them sooner.

10 thoughts on “The Essence of True (Crow) Love

  1. When you get to make Corned beef of rye bread with mustard, send some for me, ok Lisa? Nice pictures, I’m glad your knee is fine! 🙂

  2. You are very good to your crows! I never considered hot dogs as bird food. Do any other birds like them? Also, I didn’t realize white throated sparrows were here over winter. I only see them when the weather warms.

    • I never considered hot dogs as food for anybody, but a long time ago a coworker told me her sister fed crows hot dogs, and this was just as I was getting friendly with the crow who hung out at my old apartment; I wanted to get on his good side. So it must be well-known among crows because he seemed to know I had them the day I bought them, before I even opened the package. Other than the protein, I like to think that the nitrites and whatever else that’s bad for us humans in the hot dogs is protecting these guys against West Nile Virus, because their recovery seemed to coincide with the hot dog crusade. I know starlings like hot dogs but other birds, unless they’re omnivorous or carnivorous, I doubt it. House Sparrows are pretty omnivorous but they don’t seem to be interested.
      There’s a population of White-Throated Sparrows downtown now all year, and I have run into them at the Portage so I suspect their over-wintering might be a climate change thing… What they’ve been calling climate creep.

    • Thanks, Julie! It occurred to me that the only reason why i can feed them like this is because nobody is going to the park in this awful weather this time of year. Certainly hot dogs and cookies are out during the tourist season! But before long the birds will be busy nesting etc, again.

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