Hatched!

June 19, 2007
My pet crow has delivered. This morning, at least two, maybe three tiny pink beaks appeared amidst the brown mess of twigs that is the nest. Both parents were in attendance, stuffing half-digested grub down the tiny gullets.

The mother continues to sit on the chicks, though, as though they were still eggs waiting to hatch. How it is that she doesn’t smother them, I don’t know, but they don’t appear to be any the worse for it. It is for this reason that I’m not sure exactly when the chicks were born. It could have been a day or two earlier, and if I missed their feeding times, I might not have realized. I have seen the mother stick her head into the nest and examine the contents somewhat curiously or perhaps solicitously, but so far I had no glimpse of beaks, and of course, no sound from them either.

I think, if you watch them closely enough and often enough for long enough, crows grow on you as much as any other creature. They are quite expressive, once you get to know them a bit. The parents sit together atop a light pole on pleasant evenings and talk to each other pretty much like any human couple might. The husband sometimes brings tasty tidbits for the expectant mother, while she sits endlessly on her eggs. They both regard me with decreasing suspicion and don’t seem to mind my watching them so much, but any sudden movements or loud conversation from the house prompts the mother to leave her perch. She never goes too far away, hopping around anxiously on nearby branches till the disturbance subsides.

I will miss the growing up of the chicks for the two weeks that we are away. I hope they haven’t already learnt to fly by the time we come back. I hope we don’t return to find an empty nest!

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