Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Limpy and the Missus

Never mind about "stone the crows" ....the neighbours will probably stone me if they see me feeding a handicapped crow and its mate.  But, they likely won't  .... have you noticed how unobservant most folks are these days?  Too busy coming and going and "doing" to notice the little things all around them.

One day I noticed something.  A crow with a limp.  More like a goose step ..which I thought was pretty funny initially and I sort of made fun of him .. til I realized he couldn't really fly much either.   Then, I quit calling him Goose and took to calling him Limpy.  Mr. BV calls him Gimpy.

Anyway.... he and another crow ...which has to be the little lady... (because I read that the males don't actually sit on the nest) have a nest across the street in a spruce tree.  They may have just eggs at this point or there could already be little babies...  all I know is .. she is spending most of her time on or near the nest.
Every so often when I toss out some goodies for Mr. Limpy.. he calls to her and she flies down to share a bit of his grub.  He comes to just under the window when I toss things out for them and gathers up as much of it as he can in one beak-full and sprints off about 20 feet to bury it in the garden or in the lawn.  He plucks a little pile of grass to tamp down on top of it or puts 3 pieces of small bark or mulch on it in the garden.  So clever.  He always remembers where he puts it too...I've watched him re-open the cache and retrieve things later in the day.  Even though he is handicapped, he is doing his very best to look out for the two of them.

They must be a young couple .. they don't seem to have any other crow "helpers at the nest" as they call them in the info I found.  Other females that help the breeding female.  They can be other older babies that are still with the parents... apparently they can, and do, stay for 2 to 7 years with the parents... ..

I read that their mainstay is usually earthworms...who knew? ... but, I toss out good home made seed bread bits for them...along with a bit of meat or whatever else we are having for supper.  He is definitely not a vegetarian.... won't eat fruit or veggies.... hah!  and I thought they were scavengers ...which I also thought meant they would eat anything and everything.  NOT!  These two prefer meat and carbs it seems....

So, I read up on what they do eat and some person has made lists... they included "egg yolk" ..... mine will eat egg whites ... because I tossed him some of my brekky the other day and that was what I was having.  He loves it.  So, already he is out of character... and, he loves my home made bread best.... hahahaha..... silly old thing.......well, maybe he is not that old.

He is a pretty smart guy.  He can't just fly up into his own tree where the nest is ...but, he has a method of getting close.   He hops onto a low hanging branch of the tree near it, walks up it to the sturdy area of the branch ...hops up to the next one and the next and by doing so he can climb up about 25 to 30 feet high... pretty quickly.  The mate comes to meet him and he shares with her the food he has taken  ... and, then, he steps out to the edge of a branch, jumps off and sails down onto the ground..usually in my front yard or garden.  Or, if he climbs higher yet...he can manage to fly around off the one tree into the nest tree...or even onto a roof top and then into a big poplar tree next to the climbing tree.  He gets around pretty good still, but I'm sure it is taxing for him.

















And, if need be... he can take part in action to ward off large intruders... like yesterday, when all of sudden about 12 crows materialized out of nowhere, chasing an eagle.  Limpy stopped dead, .. ran out to the street flapping like crazy, managed to get airborne, just made it over the neighbour's fence and then... managed a big circle and up, up into a poplar.  And, then... Limp and the Missus landed together on a poplar in the golf course directly behind houses across the street (same tree the eagle chose) to add their presence to the confrontation.   ... yay for the Gimp!   He may be handicapped, but he is my new little hero!  What a commotion!!  They all continued with the raucous tirade til the eagle left for parts unknown.  Then all the crows left too... except Limpy and the Missus.  She went back to her nest and he hung out in the poplar ....resting...................... or maybe just afraid to be on the ground again for a bit.... didn't want to be a victim of any eagle hunting I bet.

And, look... they are still lovebirds..   this time when she flew down... she crouched down and offered him her head ....which he then preened for her.  They sat like this for several minutes ....













She embarrasses him a bit when they come to the table together...she jumps right in with wild abandon and food bits go flying in all directions .... sometimes he just steps back, sighs, looks skyward and then shakes his head and just starts to gather up her mess.  Other times he marches up, steps in, and makes her behave.... hahahaha...it's pretty funny to see.......

That's him on the right.... taking charge this time.....but, mostly he is an old softie... let's her get away with murder......














I don't know if he will get any better or if it is permanent injury to his right side ...  and, I dread to think of him in the cold of winter...but, for now...I just know I feel happy to be able to help him with his job of looking after his little family.

As soon as Wild Bird Wednesday is up ..... tomorrow ........I will be linking up to that once again.... haven't been doing any bird photos lately.... but, do check out the others photos and birds of all sorts some day you have the chance.


17 comments:

Dolores said...

Wow, that was some post. Poor Limpy/Gimpy. I do hope he gets better. I wonder if birds suffer strokes like us? I wonder how many little ones are in the nest. I don't have a crow, I have a resident robin. He's pretty healthy looking.

Magpie's Mumblings said...

awww - what a lovely story! Can't convince me that birds don't have feelings! I hope Limpy and his Mrs. raise their family without any more visits from marauding eagles.

Andy Wilson said...

Excellent observation on crow behavior.

janiceadcock said...

Awww. Poor guy. We had an injured dove last year. He mended for the most part.

Susan (ABON) said...

Awww, thank you for sharing this lovely story! Hope the sweet fella mends well.

Adam Jones said...

Hope it recovers quickly.

Margaret Adamson said...

What a wonderful story about Limpy and his Missus and great photos to go along with it. I am sure you will eventually see the babies.

eileeninmd said...

I feel sorry for Mr. Limpy. He seems to be managing well though..I have a crow here with a broken beak and it survived last winter..So maybe Mr. Limpy will be OK to. Great post, have a happy day!

Susan said...

Hi Vee, I just love your post!! You have a lovely knack of story telling too. I love this Crow Couple... well done :D)

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Oh I loved this story...it made me smile! Thank you so much for sharing your observations. I loved the pictures with them snuggling and grooming ... So sweet. Just a great heart warming post. And I wish the mr and mrs crow the best !

Marie C said...

Oh, let's all "adopt" them! I absolutely LOVE these two, and think you are great for helping them out. I can't wait to hear more of their story as time progresses (maybe about the babies, too!) How brave of them to join the crows in chasing the eagle away! Just such an awesome ongoing encounter! Perhaps a children's book!?

Les Fous du Cap said...

Great pictures ;-)
Céline & Philippe

BeadedTail said...

Oh, that's such a sweet love story! We hope he heals up but it's good he is managing so well. Hope all the babies do well too!

Norma Soulet (AZArtist) said...

Hi Vee,
I have missed you! :(
Love your post about the crows. Poor crow hope he gets better soon.

Hugs

Perpetual Chocoholic said...

Crows are super smart!

Lin said...

Oh my GOSH! That is such a nice story! It's good that you get him some food to keep his having to travel to a minimum. I think it is so sweet that he's got a gal and a little family too. Awwwww....

Shashi Nayagam said...

I hate to see any animal hurt. Hope he recovers and finds his strength soon