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 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.
- A Lovesong of Crows