Oryo's Corner

The Western-Eastern Couch

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A Lovesong of Crows
Before I spend another day composing an entry in my head without actually writing and posting it, I would like to talk about the lovesong of a crow I had the pleasure to hear those last two mornings. It should be mentioned that my living area is the habitat for several corvidae: magpies, carrion crows, hybrids between carrion and hooded crows, jackdaws and rooks. (the links are mostly for pictures, the German entries have even more pictures). In the past, there even was a little war between the magpies and the crows over a nest in one of the trees before the house. Unfortunately, the nest they were fighting for has been thrown off the tree by a storm, I guess, and nobody has built a new one. The numbers of jackdaws have decreased in my area of the town because of the other rivals, though.

Most of the rooks only stay for the winter, though, as it can be seen in the exhibits A - C. 

Exhibit A (The little colony)

Exhibit B

Exhibit C (In this picture, you can see the greyish beak which is typical for the family of the corvi frugilegus.)

Back to the topic of avian lovesongs: this morning, a pair of (probably) crows was sitting on the highest branches of the big tillia tree, since I was not fast enough with the camera (and zooming functon), I couldn't find out which kind of corvidae they were (either carrion crow,  or rooks). The (probably) male made bowing moves with his head and spread his wings halfway. And he sang ... I didn't know that crows do produce such a great variety of sounds, and that they imitate other sounds, just like ravens, parrots or budgerigars (the budgerigars I owed once copied sparrows). At one point, I was almost sure that the crow used elements of the blackbird songs. It sounded very funny and nice. And since crows only pair once in their lifetime, it is not something that can be seen very often. And since they flew away together, I think the love ritual is over. So, I'm even happier that I had the chance to have this experience. 

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Lovely! And not a single joke about "Feasts".

No? I thought the title was allusive enough ;), but then I was too amused about the wordgame "exhibit" --> "exhibition" and researching pictures to care about introducing other jokes. :)

You can't concentrate on everything at once.

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Normally, the should only produce a soft cooing and clicking noises (like "schnalzen" or "glucksen"), but that crow or rook actually produced imitated sounds from singing birds and at one point, it sounded like "cackling" (the bird version of an evil laughter).

However, I really regret now that I didn't catch a few minutes of it on video, because it seemed to be a rare feed and I'm not entirely sure if the lovesong of the crow overlapped with other early birds.

I found one link with an audio-sample with crow sounds that do have an exmaple of funny noises they can make. The ending of the audio clip sound like a "duck" imitation.

They are awesome, I spend lots of time during the winter with observations. I also found the Richard Attenborough's video of the Japanese crows that crack nuts by dropping them from hight places and use the trafic lights to fetch them. I knew it already, but it always has me chuckling.

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