Stuart Dahlquist’s new neighbour was a strange family who liked keeping to themselves, but he couldn’t see why he couldn’t be friends with them.
So what if they were crows and belonged to a different species?
So what if they like keeping to themselves?
“This particular family of crows has been hanging around our house I’d guess about four years,” Dahlquist said. “They had nested in a large Douglas fir in the front yard and we could hear the babies when the adults fed them.”
Their chirping was music to Dahlquist’s ears. But one day, without warning, it stopped. When he went out to check, he saw that both of the crows’ little chicks had fallen from their nest. Their parents flew above them, completely helpless.
“[The chicks] were almost able to fly, but instead were just running around the yard — their parents squawking,” Dahlquist said. “I caught the two of them and got them into a tree. I put some food and water underneath them in case they fell again.”
If he thought he could do that undetected, he was wrong. “The adults were really pissed off,” he said, “but seemed to begin paying more attention to us.”
It is said that crows can identify faces. This has them remembering which ones to glare at and which ones to chirp for.
While Dahlquist was busy leaving the birds food, the crows were out secretly forming their own masterplan.
“The first one was kind of confusing,” Dahlquist said. “It was sitting right in the middle of the area where I toss their food.”
“I noticed it straight away because I’m kind of sensitive about trash going where it belongs,” he added, “but the pull tab being threaded onto the spring of fir wasn’t normal and I hung onto it.”
The next day, he once again found another twist with a soda tab. And in the exact same place! “This is when it dawned on us that the crows were making and leaving them.” He said.
While Dahlquist has his fair share of rescuing birds stories, this was the first time it ever happened to him. No bird had ever shown their gratitude to him!
“It took a couple of days to wrap my head around just how amazing this was,” Dahlquist said. “Not only were our crows leaving gifts, but they had created something beyond. It was crafting.”
With their strange but sweet exchanges, the man’s relationship with the family has only gotten better with time.
“They’ll follow along when I take my walks, landing on the wires along the way,” Dahlquist said. “The adult male … is very amiable and will fly sometimes within a few feet, swooping by to say, ‘Here I am!’”
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