When we first moved to our house just over three years ago, every evening a procession of crows would trickle right over top of our house on their way to their roosting trees. The crows would literally be flying in a haphazard line overhead for two hours every sunset. I grew quite charmed of this way of marking time.

The year after the crows seemed to have picked a new path a block or two over so I missed out at home. But the crow trail did go alongside the road that I drove several times a week to go to derby practice. At stop lights I could watch the crows fly past.

This summer, I've been left completely bereft of the evening procession. The crows have been infrequent visitors, while the magpies (and skunks!) have taken over the trees outside my windows.  Hardly a crow to see.

Until this week.

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I'm not terribly familiar with crow behavior but they do indeed seem to be doing some seasonal gathering about the neighborhood.

There are murders.  Everywhere. 

Perhaps because the babies are about grown, they are reforming social groups?  I don't know but I did take out a couple books from the library and plan to find out more tonight.

While I was outside today, reading Rise of the Huntress, Joseph Delaney's seventh book in his creepy The Last Apprentice series, I'm marveling, a bit worriedly, about the massing of crows about me, when I turn the page to this chapter heading illustration:

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I love it when my landscapes, inside and out, conspire to agree.

I failed, however, to get a picture of the larger murders, they being tricky and ever moving.  The crows definitely seem restless and ever moving.  I will be stalking them as the week progresses, though.  I do, in fact, know where they sleep.  

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In the meanwhile, I set out some crow friendly foodstuff (but no battlefield fodder, I don't want to give the neighbors a reason to call in the bylaw officers), in the hopes that a crow might take notice of me and want to train me to fetch a ball for it or serve it expensive water, if I show willing and sufficient intelligence.   

And now I finish my book.

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  1. Lovely post! We love to watch all the birds that fly within our field of view. We have mostly sparrows, finches and chickadees, but we do get a fair share of grackles. There was one crow that alighted on a super high branch and we got to watch as it broke of a small stick from the branch then flew off with it in his/her beak.

    That book looks interesting.

  2. It was! Lots of stuff in there about tool using, even tool making in crows. This book was even better: