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Housing is a problem everywhere, for the birds too, what with humans cutting down trees ruthlessly. But we still have a few standing tall in our vicinity. That’s excellent as far as the Crow Mister and Crow Missus who want to start a family are concerned. With assured ‘land’ at their disposal, all they need to do is find the right material for constructing a ‘home’ on said ‘land’.

No wonder then that the other day I saw a couple of crows industrially collecting stuff. They poked and pecked at anything and everything that looked interesting. Apart from twigs and branches, they inspected shiny bits of wires, pieces of plastic ropes, shiny paper et al, flying away with whatever caught their fancy and returning for more. I found one of the crows on the jasmine bush tugging at the vines. Hello! I cried out from inside my house distressed that my jasmine bush was being attacked. What do you think you are doing?!!! So intent was the crow on detaching a particular bit of vine from the bush that it paid me scant attention.

One day I heard the L&M grumbling that the crows were destroying his lantana bushes. Not the sturdy tall one by the gate, but the more delicate ones in pots. Apparently they found the thin vines just the right kind of material needed to hold the twigs of their nest together. They pecked, pulled and upset the pots scaring themselves and us in the process, flying away to try their luck elsewhere, while we picked up the pieces.

Yesterday two of them could be seen desperately tugging at the thinnest of Anamika‘s branches, taking turns at knocking on them with their beaks, testing their strength or lack thereof. Perhaps time was running out and they simply had to settle down quickly, and the Missus had told the Mister only that morning, ‘The eggs are about to come. Hurry!!!!’ There seemed to be an urgency in their actions for they didn’t pause, as they usually do when they hear the camera clicks, but continued working earnestly.

Trivia: Did you know crows often mate for life? Also, that the and young from previous years often help nesting pairs protect a nest and feed nestlings. Cool, eh?

What do I see today morning but a crow (one of the same pair?) searching the pile of dried leaves next-door. It flew up triumphantly with something it had found. Sitting on the roof of the work-shed it pulled and pulled, and pulled, at what it purported to be a vine. It wasn’t. It was a bit of thin metal wire attached to the post nearby. After a few more futile tugs, the crow gave up and flew away.

I do hope they find the necessary materials soon, their nest will be up and functioning and that there will be baby crows in my backyard cawing and being fed by proud parents. You go, crows!

© Shail Mohan 2019