how to make friends with a crow (#16)

(image courtesy Aaron Kovalcsik)


what you’ll need:

 

food.  

peanuts. boiled eggs. kitchen scraps. kibble.  

keep it in your pocket or in the passenger seat. never leave home without an offering.  place it in a safe place where the crow can see it and then leave.  yes, leave.  they don’t owe you anything.  

 *

magnanimity.  

can you tell one crow from another? not really. so you can’t discriminate.  so you have to take them all on. besides, they all know each other. they are going to talk.  

 *

communication.

a dinner bell.  a shake of your keys. a special whistle.  

what it takes to grab their attention and let them know you’re there. 

 *

patience & vigilance.

at first, they will ignore you. after all, paranoia is all about survival. if you persist, they may develop trust.

(but if you’re looking for a bird who will be tamed, who’ll sit on your shoulder and eat from your hand, forget it. the crow will never play pet.)

 *

consistency.

always make the noise. always leave the food. always back away.  

 *

a thick skin.

be reconciled with aloofness and prepared for strange looks. from both directions.  the crows will never love you and yes, people will think you’re strange. they will demand an explanation.  

*

(this is the “how.”  for the “why,” read these.)

(what special talents do you possess? will you share a pointer or a how-to here?) (for some reason, i’m reminded of that scene in The Breakfast Club where Molly Ringwald teaches the other kids how to put on lipstick without using her hands.)

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About girl in the hat

aka Anna Fonté, writer of novels, short stories, personal essays, and bits about the neighborhood crows. The things I write want you to look at them.

34 comments

  1. Awesome!!!! I think they are so beautiful!!!

  2. a crow once pecked the back of my head in annoyance. it wanted my chips. I shooed it. Maybe i should have fed it. But i didn’t think i ought to reward a cranky peck.

  3. I’d rather they leave me alone … think they have inquisitive eyes and am not sure I would hold up well if they decided to torture me .

  4. Anna thank you so much for this and the link. I am fairly new to your blog and it was a real pleasure ( and quite emotional ) to look at and read some of your other Crow posts.. I am a long time lover of Ted Hughes Crow poems and I bet he would have loved this series..

    • The crows are my thinly-veiled reason to blather on about my family. Thank you for reading!
      (Yes! Ted Hughes!)

      Crow Blacker Than Ever

      When God, disgusted with man,
      Turned towards heaven,
      And man, disgusted with God,
      Turned towards Eve,
      Things looked like falling apart.

      But Crow Crow
      Crow nailed them together,
      Nailing heaven and earth together-

      So man cried, but with God’s voice.
      And God bled, but with man’s blood.

      Then heaven and earth creaked at the joint
      Which became gangrenous and stank-
      A horror beyond redemption.

      The agony did not diminish.

      Man could not be man nor God God.

      The agony

      Grew.

      Crow

      Grinned

      Crying: “This is my Creation,”

      Flying the black flag of himself.

  5. What a wonderful post. Crow is such an intelligent bird. I think of onyx when I watch Crow. Which I did just yesterday morning. A murder of about 50 landed in the trees around my house. Communicate they do, Their primitive sounding multi-syllabic music is amazing. Then all at once they lifted off the branches and flew away, like witches on their broomsticks.

  6. Hmmm. Crows remind me of my kitty, except she never ignores food.

    I loved that scene with the lipstick, but I can’t do anything even a little bit like that.

  7. Whenever I see a crow I’m reminded of the scene in The Wiz with Michael Jackson. Secretly I always hope it’ll break out in a song & dance.

  8. Ha! People already think I’m stange because I have birds now I’m going to be walking around with boiled eggs in my pockets, trying to make friends with crows…

    Seriously though, thanks for the tips, there are a lot of crows around here and I was hoping I’d be able to make friends with some of them :)

  9. gailytr

    well if you read the list of what they need it’s not alot different than a list for children, and everyone? who wrote crow blacker than ever?

  10. Michelle

    Crows are my spirit animal or totem, I have a large tattoo of a Crow on my left shoulder. I want very much to make friends with the Crows around my neighborhood, and loved this blog post. I once took a crow in during and Ice storm and let him sit on my kitchen counter on a piece of newspaper and eat and warm up while it passed. Got him in by holding out a broomstick. wanted to touch him so bad but was terrified he would jump up and peck out my eyes and scratch me like “The Birds”. Such beautiful magnificence. I put him back out on the porch the next day before going off to work and when I came home he was gone. I love Crows. Smart, Beautiful and Resourceful…Like me. Thanks

    • Wow. I can’t imagine having a crow sitting in my kitchen. Amazing. The closest I’ve ever gotten was 4 feet away. With crows, I use the word “friendship” but don’t imagine anything that intimate– the crows around here don’t need my help, and I am full of respect for their wariness. Good luck with your friendships with crows. I wish I could see the tattoo.

  11. Val

    A large murder of crows decided to do a fly-about over my allotment a couple of nights ago… a quick dash for the camera and I was able to capture the spectacle!
    http://100squaremetres.wordpress.com/2012/05/31/blue-murder/

  12. I love crows! I could sit and watch them for hours :-)

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