I’ve been late to rise due to a medical condition that is affected by the changes in weather. I usually rise before dawn, by the time I get outside and set up the sun is just barely on the rise. I don’t believe the critters are any more active than during that time of any more than later; perhaps due to the wind; I won’t hazard a guess. None the less I have an extensive number of photos I am able to fall back on.
I’ve spent several hours this morning reviewing and further editing as needed working with my Crow gallery. I am not sure how much of a fan I am of them, at one time I held the belief I was a grand admirer. My opinion hasn’t changed much but it has taken a different direction after observing these guys over the years. I have become more curious about them as time passes, it has replaced what I thought I knew about them to more of an isn’t that interesting perspective.
I have many photos of them flying in the early morning light which was perfect last October 2020. They unlike Ravens fly in groups numbering from a few to several dozen or more. But the one behavior during Sunrise that is prominent is their morning ritual. They send out one or two birds prior to the mob taking to the air, I call them “scouts”. the one or two birds will head in the direction the flock is going to fly towards. Making a huge circle they appear to be inspecting or perhaps pre-hunting over the pasture. When they are satisfied a return to the Pecan Tree is in order, after a few minutes the entire crew takes off. There are times when they leave in a single file and others the entire mob in a flock.
It was during one of these displays when 3 years ago I was taking videos of them in the tree. Unable to take one in the area I was interested in I moved the Camcorder to the center of my walkway. The Crows flew overhead in a circle, then returned to the Pecan Tree. Within a few minutes the entire colony took to the air flying to the East not to return until this past October. They had been around but since that moment they have kept their distance from me, not interested in the Peanuts I lay out.
I began reading more about them, to be clear I am not any sort of Scientist or Animal Behavior Biologist; reading a few books about them doesn’t change that. I have however discovered a number of traits that may explain a bit about why they disappeared. Crows pay close attention to everything taking place in or around their habitat. They are very aware of changes such as me moving to a new spot and setting up my camera there. They need a period of acclamation to study the change, sometimes they will accept it other times they will not. They need a week or two at a minimum, I made a major blunder that may be the cause of them fleeing into the hinterland.
The Crows disappeared then I removed the camera never setting it up in that spot again. Had I left it in place for a week or two I suspect they may have grown accustomed to it and grown to accept it and me. But why were they shy of it? I will never know the reason outside of speculating as there is no way humans will every be able to place themselves inside any animals thinking perspective. However I suspect it may have something to do with Duck Hunting season. People take pot shots at various critters while hunting, a prominent target are Crows and Ravens. It may be the Crows thought my camera was a shotgun set up in their direction.
They seem to be intelligent animals, however how are we humans able to measure the I.Q. of any of the wild ones? I am convinced they are not merely flesh and blood pre-programed Robots (instinct is the word) however what intelligence traits do they possess? I venture to guess the answer to that will never be known by us. The traits we look for are Subjective Conscienceness, the ability to know how what they are doing now affects their lives in the future, Logic one of the traits human intelligence is based on along with Reason. For that reason it is my belief even if the critters were able to speak our language fluently we would not be able to understand them. It would be impossible for us to identify with their perspective because the way they evolved has no bearing on how we did.
Jacques Lebec Natural Self Reliance