Saturday, January 23, 2010

The Strange Case of The Barking Crow

To set the scene: We have a parrot stand out in our backyard for our Diva Parrot and Greenwing Macaw Roxanne. Actually three separate stands placed next to each other. Roxanne likes to sit out back and watch the birds and airplanes (power birds) fly overhead. Except when the Goodyear blimp sails overhead, but that's an entirely different story. Roxanne also has an admiring coven of crows that like to hang out around the yard and observe her. They typically sit on the cedar fence surrounding the backyard but generally they stay away from her stand.

A few days ago we observed a crow sitting on her stand not three feet from Roxanne, barking. We thought that was odd, so we ran to get our video recorder. Unfortunately the crow took flight as soon as we returned.

To prove this wasn't a fluke, several days later we observed the same crow sitting in the same spot, once again barking at Roxanne. We ran for the camera again. This time we were able to record the event. After about a minute, the crow flew up to the gutter on the neighbor's house, and continued barking for another minute or so.

Then the next day the same crow was back, observed doing the very same thing. Clearly this crow is trying to communicate with our Greenwing Macaw Roxanne. See for yourselves, and listen carefully:

Anyone have any ideas or conjecture just what the heck is going on? Could it be birdie love? We have a flock of crows that live in the neighborhood, and we can identify several individuals by sight. This is a new bird There is a six foot tall cedar fence surrounding our backyard, and the crows like to hang out on the fence and stare at Roxanne. They must be highly impressed. We've never before seen a crow sitting on her stand.

Roxanne has actually taught one of the crows to say Hi. We wouldn't believe it if we hadn't actually seen it. Wish we had a recording of that!

Postscript: The same crow was observed back in the same spot on Thursday, February 4, 2010, once again barking at our Greenwing macaw Roxanne. And as we type this on Saturday, February 6th, Roxanne and the same crow are out there once again. It has to be avian love!

Additional Postscript: The same crow was observed on the neighbor's roof Saturday morning, December 18th, 2010, barking for Roxanne. Unfortunately for the crow, this time of year Roxanne spends very little time out on her back play stand because of the continuing monsoon. We try to explain to Roxanne that wild crows and other birds live out in the cold and rain year around, but she's not buying it. She prefers to stay indoors.


Lisa said...

WoW you guys--that's so curious!
Does it look to you like he's making head motions normally associated with courtship?
Is he "Gurging" for Rox?

Thank You for Sharing this. Love to you and your flock


The Zen Parrot said...

Now that you mention it, it could be a form of gurging for Roxanne. We were thinking more that the crow was trying to communicate in some fashion because of the repeated barking. But not to say it couldn't be gurging!