As if they were all on the same schedule, about 3 weeks ago young crows all over Humboldt County were making their first leaps toward independence by jumping out of their nests. As we remind everyone, this is wild baby season. All over the county, and everywhere, young animals are learning the ways of the world. For songbirds like crows, this means weak and a little clumsy flight long after they leave the nest. They are vulnerable to all sorts of dangers, and in our modern world many of these dangers are man-made – cars, windows, cats, and more. And some times they are at risk of false imprisonment.
When the Eureka Animal Control Officer Rob Patton pulled up in our driveway 2 weeks ago, we greeted him at the door.
“Got you a young crow,” he announced. We’ve worked with Eureka PD Animal Control for a long time. While many people might mistakenly nab a poorly flying young bird, thinking help is needed, Officer Patton knows whether a wild animal needs help or not.
Turns out the young crow landed in the equipment yard at the Police Station. They watched him for a week before deciding that no parents were nearby. So they booked him. Another lost fledgling – a definite youth at risk.
The crow was very underweight and quite excited to meet his food dish. Crows, like people, are omnivores – eggs, fruit, fish, mice, seeds, insects made up his diet. Gradually we moved him to larger housing where his flight improved.
Yesterday, we took him back to his old neighborhood. Not far from the police station, at the Eureka waterfront, is a common foraging place for crows and other birds. BAX/HWCC intern, Cheryl Henke and BAX co-director and photographer Laura Corsiglia scouted for crows.
Satisfied that this would be a good place for the young crow, they let him out of the carrier.
Almost immediately an adult crow came to him. The young crow gaped (opening his mouth wide to ask for food).
“I was astonished,” exclaimed Cheryl, “It was beyond belief. It was like they already knew each other!”
The adult quickly coaxed the bird from the ground to a nearby treetop. After some brief conversation, the two birds flew off together.
Your support allows us to sometimes pull off rescues as profoundly beautiful as this. Please donate what you can. Help keep wild families together, or perhaps, build new ones!
(all photos Laura Corsiglia/BAX)