First Crow Post of 2023

Last weekend I was determined not to let another cloudy day deter me from having some fun, so on Sunday morning I drove downtown to visit the American Crows on the Chicago lakefront – armed with peanuts in the shell and a fresh batch of Crows Favorite Cookies I had baked the day before.

Since Crows always know ahead of time what is bound to happen, it didn’t take long for my followers to find me. But when I first rode the elevator up to street level from the underground parking garage, the sky was not inviting.

Yet within a moment or two I saw two Crows flying overhead. I crossed Columbus Drive and entered that section of Grant Park just north of Buckingham Fountain that does not have its own name, as far as I can tell. But it has a statue and a garden and other features that differentiate it from some of the other sections. Unfortunately those features did not invite photographs in the winter gloom.

Grant Park, north of Buckingham Fountain

I was soon joined by one Crow.

And within half a moment I had three – then four – Crows coming to see me.

It had occurred to me that photographing black birds on a gray day was not going to be fruitful, but the Crows gave me plenty of opportunities anyway.

The first Crow seemed to remember the cookies. But the others went for the peanuts initially. There was one Crow who decided to approach a piece of cookie by first jumping back from it in case it was a trap – or a bomb – and when the cookie did not attack it, the Crow bravely took the sample.

I took too many photographs of the Crows, but I haven’t visited with them for a year, so I couldn’t help myself. I just have to visit the lakefront more often this year.

A Crow observing a Gray Squirrel who went straight for the cookie

It was time to cross Jean Baptiste Dusable Lake Shore Drive and move toward the lakefront. The Crows came with me.

I should perhaps mention that the Crows were cawing in the key of B minor which matched the music playing in my head. I take for granted that they read my thoughts, but I had forgotten they also seem to be able to listen in on my ear worms.

Crows are great birds to feed, in no small part because they are fastidious in gathering their food and carrying it off to stash for later consumption. No mess!

At some point I noticed the sun was trying to come out from behind the clouds.

Once I was at the lakefront, the Crows followed me a bit but did not go beyond the Chicago Yacht Club. Unlike my visit last year, I had only about 8 Crows total this time with no others north of the yacht club at Monroe Harbor. So I brought home the extra cookies and peanuts. Cookies for me, peanuts for the squirrels.

There were not a lot of birds in and around the lake but I had a nice walk and it was just good to be on the lakefront again.

Monroe Harbor

At least I got to see a couple Red-breasted Mergansers for a change.

Sunshine, which had been absent all week, began to return by the time I was already on my way home. The next day, Monday, was The Sunny Day of the Week. Tomorrow, we are promised, sunshine returns. It will be colder than it has been, but it is January. I will likely visit the Chicago Portage.

I have more of the usual local visits to report and will be back. Looking forward to singing with the choir Sunday morning. Our three selections are all in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

6 thoughts on “First Crow Post of 2023

  1. Hi Lisa
    I love crows!Thanks for an entertaining post. Coincidentally I just read a story the other day in Orion, titled “The Crows of Karachi”. Just wondering, what kind of cookies do you make for them?😊
    Very gray weather here and hardly any snow but at least we don’t have flooding!!
    Happy New Year!

    • Happy New Year! Thrilled you love crows. They are the one thing I miss most about working downtown. I simply have to visit them more often. I confess I used to sing “There is Nothing Like a Crow” (instead of Dame) to them. Sorry if I have now planted an ear worm.
      The cookies are peanut butter-oatmeal-raisin which I have improved over the years by increasing the amount of crunchy peanut butter, adding a little molasses to compensate for cutting the sugar in half, and using whole wheat flour. It’s like an extra treat to get through the cold winter.
      As for weather yes, we are on the dry side as well, but I am also grateful for no flooding.
      Thanks for introducing me to Orion! I will read “The Crows of Karachi.” 🙂

  2. Crows, crows, crows!. I saw my first crow of the year yesterday as I was driving on Archer to ACE. I needed parts to repair my sink faucet. With some advice and only two trips I was successful.

    However, I did see several flocks of birds this week. One was a large group of juncos and a second was a group of 30+ Robins. With 17 days in a row of above average temps maybe it is a sign that spring is just around the corner. DOUBTFUL!

    I could almost hear the loud cawing “the crow lady is back. the crow lady is back” all the way out to Midway.

    • Glad to hear your sink faucet is restored. …I also encountered large flocks of birds – robins, some red-wingeds, juncos – on Wednesday in Riverside. But those warmer sunnier days are still elusive. I am thawing out from this morning’s cold, quiet, cloudy walk.

Leave a Reply