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Friday, October 17, 2008

Nutty Crows and Bluebird Update

Over the last few weeks, as I've been walking to and from town, I've noticed crows flying around with large green nuts (they look like walnuts to me) in their mouths. They angle up high, drop the nuts onto the asphalt, and then chase them along the pavement, presumably hoping that the fall cracked the outer shell to reveal the tasty insides of the nut. I always love to see innovative crows in action, but I just haven't seen them have any success with this particular endeavor. So one day, when a crow was flying up my street and dropped his nut just in front of me, I decided to help him out. I walked over to the nut (he flew off to watch from the safety on a nearby roof) and stomped on it to open it up. I thought it would be harder than it was, so I flattened it pretty good, but I hoped the crow would still be able to enjoy it. After walking a ways up the street, I turned back to check, and sure enough, the crow was back on the ground, scooping up and swallowing the flattened nutty insides.

In other birdy news, I reported my recent sighting of western bluebirds to the local recovery project and heard back from them. They were very glad to hear of my sighting. Apparently, bluebirds tend to flock up before migrating, and while early-mid October is near the end of the time frame, its still within the window that bluebirds may leave for migration. It was good to find out that it was "normal" to see them at this time, and I look forward to following the bluebird recovery on the island and hopefully see more of them next season.


Vickie said...

The image of the crow dropping the nut on the ground and hopping behind it made me laugh out loud. Fun observation. Do you know where the western bluebird migrates to?

Monika said...

Vickie, glad I accurately portrayed the crow! I laughed out loud when I saw it too. As for the western bluebird, I guess they're the least migratory of the bluebirds. I had to look this up, but in places like eastern Washington they make more of an altitudinal than latitudinal migration, moving just to lower valleys. Here in western Washington, though, I guess they really do fully leave the area, going to places like the southwest US and central Mexico.