Crows – Bathing and Anting

This afternoon, in the hottest part of a hot, sunny, humid day, six American Crows gathered in the grass around a spot on the edge of our driveway. They sat low down on the grass, bellies to the ground, with wings spread. One or two stayed down like this for several minutes, occasionally lifting a wing or wiggling on the ground. Others on the ground stayed with wings spread out for a shorter time. When they stood up, some stood nearby on the grass and shook their wings, preened or raked a bill through their feathers, others flew to nearby trees to do the same. Later we checked the spot and, indeed, found a nest of black ants.

A group of six or seven Crows has been spending a lot of time around the yard – I don’t know if these were the same ones or different. They often visit one of the birdbaths in the morning. Sometimes all six or seven of them crowd onto the rim in a circle to drink, but they take turns bathing, one at a time, then strut around in the grass, shaking and preening.

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