Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The Baby Crows are ten months old

Baba, Benoit and Lucy, the young Crows living near the Burringbar Range (NE NSW, Australia) are now almost ten months old. They regularly visit the main group of Crows in the valley nearby, and often spend their nights away from the vicinity of their nesting tree, the Crow's Ash on the ridge.

Some of Benoit's images in the Environmental Advocacy Collages and Photos, (2008-2009)

Their eating skills and dexterity have greatly matured, as has their capacity to understand my directions. Their language is dramatically increased in sounds and strength of sound, but still holds the slight "huskiness" of being a young crow.
They somewhat remind me of dogs. Although when he is feeling boistrously active, Benoit has a sensitivity, that he finds hard to put to practice.  This is the time when he may peck at my ear too hard. But a word -  especially a very "sensitively put" word - more like a "feeling" expressed to him, and he then is much more gentle. 
The whole process is much like teaching a puppy or baby how to be gentle - the approach is the same. Showing the crow that gentle is "soft" and "friendly" and "loving". Benoit knows exactly how to differentiate "soft" from "hard".
Benoit and Lucy both regularly like to fly in, nearby and say hello.  I still put clean water outside, in the garden, daily, for the birds.  
The dear little crows  talk in a low language, trying to "mimic" our words. Lucy is still somewhat slower than the other sibling Crows but like Benoit, has taken to coming in to talk with me. 
Baba is still the most cautious of the three, regarding contact with me. 
They all like to garden with me, but particularly, again, Benoit and Lucy.  I am doing a small landscaping "project" outside my shed. I am making a nice flat area to put a couple of chairs, table and umbrella. The Crows have been helping me, in this task, and spend time picking through the soil that I disturb, as I create my new garden area. It is nice to work away with the little friends so relaxed, close by. 
Benoit has become so fast and smart, that at times, the parents are seen to reprimand him, as he display great gusto to trying to take everyone's food, when I throw out fruit or meat scraps for them. He is much larger than Baba and Lucy. His flying skills also show much more speed and agility. He is, in short, a superb looking youngster.
He is often away from the rest of the family, throughout the day, doing his own "crow business", and quite often, I only see him briefly, when he is coming through my way, or the others are nearby to my home, and he flies in to be with them here.  
As I write this, I can hear Benoit calling out about half a kilometer from here. His voice is still softer, like a baby Crow voice, but Benoit's voice is the loudest of the "Babies". He makes me smile, as I hear him going about his early morning.

Back when the crows were about 7 months from their September 2008 hatching - this is what I had to say about them:-
"Baba, Benoit and Lucy have now been flying for over about 6months. This makes them about 7 months old. Their eyes show slight blue color, but still appear brown. Their vocal ability has improved strongly, and although they still are very soft in many of the louder calls, they display a great variety of language.
Due to Benoit's encouragement, the other two young Crows - Baba and Lucy, have decided to come closer to me, when they visit my garden. Benoit and Lucy have just spent the last week hanging about together, and Lucy would fly in, afterBenoit, when he comes to visit, and ask for meat or mandarines or grapes.
Lucy has begun to walk up to me, and will sit still for a long time, just looking at me nearby. Lucy has a very soft temperament, compared to Benoit, and is still clearly everyone's favourite. 
Some mornings, we all gather outside, and I garden, and pull back from the area I have dug up, and the Crows fly in and gather the worms and insects. Sometimes, I gather the worms, and throw them onto the roadside, for the Crows to eat. They quite like the worms. They love big grasshoppers, also, and fat heliothes caterpillars.
Benoit has taken to walking on the roof, and her makes great noises, as his large crow feet run across the metal roof. Benoit likes to make noise. He is, by far, the noisiest, busiest, fastest, brightest crow, of the three siblings. In fact, quite a handful for his parents."