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July 4, 2011

Beware if its nesting days of Mr. & Mrs. Crow!!

Crow raven is aggressive and lives close to the human beings and always adapt itself to the changing situations. The nesting crow pair is very aggressive and will never let any other bird or human being come close to it.

During my childhood days, there were no apartment culture in our city. Only individual houses or groundfloor row colonies were seen. So lots of bushes & trees  Tree 2 were present in the surroundings containing habitats from small insects to big birds like crows. My mother & aunts used to warn me when i go out or to the terrace "beware of the crow nest in the coconut/neem tree". That time crow was a terror bird to me. I remember how my sister got chased by the nesting crows when she was returning home from her school. smiley

We never owned a house, hence kept shifting from place to place which had different ambiance around it giving us different environment. In one such a house where we lived in 2nd floor, there was a drumstick tree which grew uipto the first floor near the bath. Our bathroom was situated outside near the open terrace. Every morning like people looking for auspicious signs, we watched the crow's mood, shielding our head with a thick towel and managed to get in. Me, my father and mother likes & follows punctuality. On  one such crow's nesting occassions, one or two days i was late to school and when i  took the excuse of the nesting crow,   I heard some giggling sounds  and many eyes stared at me wondering "From which part of the world is she from!"  for giving such a lame excuse, including the teacher till the time she was chased by a pair of crows. Experience is a great teacher - the lesson the Teacher learnt! Before that i had passed two academic years.

There was a window on the top through which we could get a clear view of the nest. I was too short as the window stood 4 times taller than me. On a sunday morning, my father lifted me to giving me a clear view of the eggs. There were 3 light green coloured eggs inside the nest. I started pestering my father every morning to show me the eggs and after few days i got fed up as most of the days a crow was sitting covering the eggs. 
courtesy : google images

Then on an evening my mother asked me whether i could hear any peculiar sound different from the regular one. I sharpened my ears but could not recognise one. When the traffic near the road was calmed a little I heard some shrill continuous cries. Yes, the eggs had hatched! It was a great scene to see the affectionate mother taking care of the young ones and yet more aggressive in protecting them.  There was a house cat which used to walk in the branches of the tree that touched the wall of the neighbouring house but luckily those chicks survived from the eyes of the cat. Crow Thanks for the protective parents they had. 

It was amazing to see a crow family - a live discovery channel going on in the neighbourhood when there were no cable channels available. But hardly i see crow nests around as there are not many trees seen in a residential area. Thanks to the concrete Jungle.

The nesting crows also gets chased by the cuckoos (koel) who also nest at the same time. Cuckoos don't build nest of their own. The male cuckoo diverts the crows away from their nest and the female cuckoo takes this chance and lay her eggs in the crow's nest. The crows bring up the cuckoo chicks along with their young ones without realising it. See the nature's play!
When we offer food, the crow calls for its pair and have its share. When one crow dies the whole crow community mourns for the death by flying restlessly around that area cawing continuously. In india Crow is considered sacred and is the vehicle (vahana) of the God Shanishwar (one of the navgraha gods).

There are hirearchy in crows. The dark black and big ones looks different & stronger than the regular crows.I am feeding rice grains to the birds and crow is one of the visitor of the morning hours. When the dark king crow comes, the ordinary crow waits patiently till the other one has its share and clear out from the place.

There are many proverbs around the world on the crows "The crow regards no egg but its own",  "The crow thinks its own chicks fairest", "jhooth bole kauwa kaate" etc. There is a famous old Tamizh Picture song on crows "Ka,ka, ka...." telling about the good charachters of the crow which a human should learn. There is an idiom "As the crow flies" to denote the shortest route between two points.

Crow is also an adaptive bird. Though they missed big trees for nesting, during my recent road travel through one of the busiest highway of the city, i saw some crows nesting on the extra cable wires that were tied to the lamp post on the dividers. Poor chicks forced to tolerate the heat & rains without a shade. Even the small birds like sparrows has no bushes left in the city except in the bushes of few gardens which were watered. Slowly the insects, birds and animals are being driven out of their homes. If they keep moving out where will they go leaving this planet? We humans are very selfish destroying the echo system with our destructive development forgetting the important roles that these fellow planet neighbours play in our life.

Your Kind Attention Please :-)

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