Today, while I sat down to think for my next blog post, crows started creating a racket at my balcony.
(Indian House Crows or Corvus Splendens as they are often called).
Everyday crows come to my balcony and go back to their homes in trees. This reminds me of the waves lashing up to the shores and going back. The crows perch themselves on my balcony as I feed them and then fly away back to their homes in trees. They come back the next time when they are hungry, just as, the waves come to the shores.
Patience is one thing that human beings need to learn from crows. Crows, who come to my balcony, patiently wait for food to be fed to them. There is absolute silence. They simply watch us as if they were CCTV cameras. They watch us from the trees nearby and also perched on the balcony. It is said that they have the intelligence of a 7- year old child, but in this aspect of patience, I feel they are mature enough as an adult. When finally the food arrives for them, one of them even stretches his wings just as a human would out of boredom or a very long waiting period. Crows waiting on our balcony, sometimes, resembles a doctor’s waiting room where patients wait their turn for a doctor’s appointment.
Language is one barrier that we can’t overcome, but that does not stop them or us interacting with them. They communicate just as the deaf and dumb people would interact. They understand our language through our body language and know if we are angry or annoyed with them when they keep coming back even after the food has been fed to them. They are intelligent enough to know each window of our home and not only the balcony where we often feed them. They are perched on the kitchen sill and the bedroom window to call out to us for food or simply to rest in the shade or when it is raining. They do not make a sound and quietly perch on our window. They have rightly identified our windows of the house.
Nature teaches us a lot of things that help us in our daily life.
They seem to have a sixth sense. I was just keeping aside their food for the next day in their special green plate, when one crow perched on my kitchen sill without a sound, patiently waiting for me to feed him/her. I then fed him/her the last meal of the day before he/she could go back to his/her home for a good night’s sleep. No sooner did I feed him, then he/she took it in his/her beak and flew away. Then, smaller birds like sparrow and myna come to clean up the leftovers on the kitchen window sill.
With the seasons changing, a lot of other birds come over to my balcony Myna, cuckoo, Bulbul, sparrow, and ravens.
Myna is a small bird with grey colour. The eyes are covered with yellow highlights resembling yellow goggles which human’s wear. The sound of this bird is quite loud, in comparison to its small size. It can produce a variety of sounds. It perches on the tree and modulates its sound. After singing to its heart’s content, it even takes a bow just like girls bowing after a performance. It comes to my balcony with its family and each interacting with the other, take turns to eat their food.
Bulbul, a tiny bird is very swift in its movements. It perches on my balcony, eats food and quickly flies away. It has a dark brown colour and a crest on its head that resembles a king. The size of this bird is a little bigger than a sparrow.
Sparrow– is a tiny bird and has brown and white colour. The sound that it produces is louder than its size.
Cuckoo/Koel – with its black colour resembles a raven at times. Black colour glistens in the sunshine just like a raven. Cuckoo is entirely black and has red eyes, which are scary to look at. The sound that it produces is melodious. It is often a harbinger of spring. It comes with its spouse which is light brown with black spots on it and hard to spot when it is perched on a tree as it camouflages itself. The sound that it produces is annoying and not melodious like its better-half. They lay their eggs in some other bird’s nest and fly away. There is a chaos among other birds when they come during the change of season. Their offspring comes on my kitchen window sill. It comes with its daddy and makes a lot of noise while eating food. The mother comes alone to eat the food when the crows leave the food unattended. It keeps a watch from the nearby tree when the food is laid out for them. Their offspring would come with raven to eat on my balcony. The offspring is very quick to finish the food laid out and gobbles up morsels before anyone could come. Raven protects it from the crows.
Raven resembles a crow but is bigger in size. Crows have a lighter grey shade on their necks and black body. Raven also look similar to Koel or cuckoo when perched on a tree.
Birds and nature teach you many things when you take time out and pay attention. Whether it’s naturalist knowledge or life skills, there’s something for everybody big and small.
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In the Company of Crows and Ravens