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Saturday, February 21, 2009

Crows Take a Hike

My mother was a great one for quoting silly little rhymes. One of her winter standards was:
The snow the snow, the beautiful snow
It freezes above and falls below.
The bluebird, the blackbird, the robin and crow
All stick their feet in the beautiful snow.
Today there were no birds at all venturing out to stick their feet in the snow. They were all sensibly hunkered down wherever they could find shelter from the wind and snow. The snow was from the east, which is very odd, and blowing. The skiing was great, but I wasn't stopping to take any pictures. But Maggie and I went out twice.

However, I've been working on a collection of pictures to show because on the days when the weather is nicer I've been amazed at the amount of walking around that the crows do. I mean, they aren't like turkeys that have a lot of trouble getting off the ground... And yet, they hike all over the field, walking for yards and yards of distance. I hadn't really noticed it before, but this past week when there has only been a dusting of snow (until today!), I could follow their walking tracks for 50-100 feet!

This set of 3 strips shows crow tracks in light snow, medium, and deep snow. You can see how much the conditions change how the tracks look. You get nice definition of the pads and claws in the light snow, and just broken holes in the deep snow.

I made the next picture big so you can see how this crow was just walking along in a straight line. You can see one of my boot prints too. The picture below that is just kind of funny. There are tracks going both directions, and some places the crow broke through the crust and in some places it didn't. If you look closely at the bottom of the picture, one foot is going one direction and one the other direction. I think that crow was hopping around for some reason. Maybe he was doing a dance!

P.S. February 26 will be a milestone day for me. I'm planning a special post for Thursday.


rainfield61 said...

Crows flood the place that I live until the authority has to sometimes arrange shooting session to control their population.

Rick (Ratty) said...

I like the crow tracks. I sometimes think there are too many trees around me to identify any tracks. Lately when I go out there are no animals at all, but I will hear a crow or two. It's only them and me.

Now, I'll be wondering about Thursday all week.:)

Sharkbytes said...

Hi Rainfield- It is so interesting to make friends from all around the world blogging. We don't have that kind of problem with the crows here, but we do experience that with Canada geese and cormorants.

Ratty- sometimes the critters just hike, don't they. Although I'm not really out in the deep woods, it's more rural where I am which probably gives me a little better chance. I'm so glad you noticed about Thursday. I'll give everyone another clue when I finish the Lichen post.