Ice-skating Crows

This morning – cold, clear and sunny – two American Crows came to one of our birdbaths as they often do around mid morning, and found the water frozen into a solid sheet. At first, they perched on the side of the birdbath and pecked at the hard surface, then drank by turning their heads to the side to sip water from the surface where it may have begun to melt, or maybe seeped up from the cracks they made. They both picked up small twigs and leaves that had fallen onto the ice and tossed them away.

Then one of them hopped onto the ice and took a couple of slippery steps, but kept its balance on big scaly dark feet and claws, and pecked harder at the surface until it seemed to break through a small spot and took another sip. When it flew to the ground, the second Crow stepped onto the ice and also slipped and slid for a moment, just walking around a bit, in one direction, then in the other, as if to see what it was like, then it pecked at a spot on the ice, and drank.

Even though I see dozens of Crows around here every day, I don’t stop often enough to watch them. The sunlight was shining directly on them, making their black plumage gleam, and at close range, their size, powerful build, and large, heavy bills were impressive. Their backs looked stippled with patterns of charcoal. Even in just the few minutes I watched them, each showed an individual and interesting personality, though they flew away too soon for me to learn more – leaving behind the broken surface of the ice where water was probably more easily available for smaller birds.

One Response to “Ice-skating Crows”

  1. clate says:

    Great blog!

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