September 18, 2010

Crows above, cars below

What has been your crow experience?

Have you found the bird cawing at your kitchen window, threatening to fly away with an evening snack? Or providing you the wake-up call so that you can be up for your morning walk?

Everybody has a crow experience.

It may not be the favourite bird but it is perhaps the only one that survives in our neighbourhoods.

For some weeks now, I have been enjoying crows at work. Rather, creating a family.

Our office in Alwarpet is on the second floor and on a busy road where the vroom of traffic has become a part of our working life.

But we do have a bonus. The tall avenue trees whose branches spread across the road and into out building create a circle of green and shade.

Trees are always humming with activity and if you are up there and choose to look closely, you can catch the whirr of the bees which time their entry into our office after dusk, the summer blooms that sail gently on to the tar below and the crows who have made nests.

One nest is metres away from the parapet wall and there is a lot of activity in it I presume.

It looks firm and cosy but to me it seems to be in a precarious position - a sway of the lead branch and that nest and all the eggs or lives in it will hurtle to the tar below.

It is a foolish thought. Birds have brains and this set of crows must have made a wide choice too.

The past week, I observed that the crow was content to sit in the nest and keeping warm the eggs in there. While one crow does the job, another keeps watching from a closer branch.

Curious, I spoke to K. S. Sudhakar of the Madras Naturalists Society who is a practising chartered accountant and has an office down the corridor. Do the male and the female take turns to help in the hatching? Do crows really care for their chicks?

They do care, Sudhakar tells me. It is the koels who ‘hijack’ the nests of the crows. These birds lay their eggs in a crows nest and let the latter do the rest! When they come back, they may even sideline the crow’s chicks. . .

In the nooks and braches of our neighbourhoods, despite all the destruction and mess, nature survives.

Do the crows trust us?

1 comment:


Very nice. We once had a crow and a squirrel sharing in companionship the rice we placed on the windowsill.