Messin’ With The Crows

A few years ago, my sons gave me a crow call for Christmas. Not because I’m a turkey hunter, as caw, caw, cawing can produce a gobble in reply from the turkeys, but just to mess around with while I’m in the woods. I don’t always carry it with me, but it’s often in my jacket pocket as winter approaches as crows seem to fly overhead with some regularity, morning and evening, where I live.

So this past Saturday, as I was heading out for my morning walk with my critter, I heard a murder of crows caw, caw, cawing in flight. At first I couldn’t put my eyes on them, as it was cloudy and the sun was not fully up. I finally got my eyes on them when they were almost directly overhead. It was a good sized murder of crows, probably 200 to 250 strong and they were flying east. Though the murder was quite high up, I thought I should grab my crow call out of my pocket and give them a few caws and see if they respond. So I did.

I started with just a basic caw, caw, caw, doing this a number of times, and at first I thought the murder was just going to pass me by, as there seemed to be no response from the crows. I kept caw, caw, cawing, and the next thing you know, a few of those crows peeled off to have a looksee. So I cawed some more, and then a few more peeled off from the murder to take a look, and then a few more, until almost the entire murder was swirling and twirling overhead. As those crows cawed at me in various cadences, I began copying their calls, which brought a group of about 50 of them right above me no higher than the rooftops of the houses on our street, which made me laugh.

After checking me out and determining I was just some crazy human, or getting tired of my cawing back of them, the murder reformed and flew off to the east, to do whatever crows do during the day. I managed to see the murder overhead again at the close of the day, headed west, but as I was only temporarily outdoors without my jacket, I couldn’t call to them.

So this morning, as I’m heading out the door with the critter again for our morning walk, I hear a number of crows cawing, and they are close. I stepped off my back porch to attempt to get my eyes on them, and there they are, the whole murder of 200 or so crows, perched in the huge cottonwood in my neighbor’s back yard. So I got out my crow call and caw, caw, cawed to them. Boy, did that stir them up! Almost the whole murder took wing, not to fly off, but to circle directly overhead like they were checking me out closely. After a few minutes of back and forth cawing, the murder gained height and headed off to the east. It was a pretty cool experience. I wonder what many of my neighbors thought, because it was pretty raucous there for a spell. I kinda like messin’ with the crows.

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