Tuesday, January 18, 2011

A Murder of Crows

Ink, watercolor, pencil, colored pencil

This one's watercolor pencil
Out here where I live, in a small town about 38 miles from Kansas City, we usually see shy crows in much lower numbers--5 seems to be a lot, up in the trees beyond my house.  When we looked up to see hundreds of them winging homeward the other afternoon, we were amazed at the numbers--and at their relative silence.  Here, they tend to be a bit on the raucous side, if shy of humans.  I generally know they're about from their harsh caws.

Click the link to hear the variety of sounds they make.

And why are they called a murder of crows when they gather in numbers?  Here's one explanation:

They're smart birds...here are a couple of articles demonstrating just HOW smart:

Joshua Klein on the intelligence of crows:  http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/joshua_klein_on_the_intelligence_of_crows.html

Crows have made PBS and YouTube, too!  PBS A Murder of Crows


  1. This is an informative post. We don't get too many crows here in the city except for around the train yard and ship loading dock, where I assume they find grain. They do roost like clockwork in a tree near the river that I walk by at dusk. They are very quiet then too. The crows eye in your sketch is very life-like. Well done!

  2. Thank you, Janene...I wish ours weren't so cautious, but who can blame them!

  3. Crows are my favorite birds...so smart, so cocky, so funny. A couple of miles from my home there is a nesting assemblage of crows that is massive and unbelievable. I am only about 15 miles from downtown Los Angeles and this group of between 30,000 and 100,000, depending on the time of yer, gather there each night to roost. It is absolutely fascinating. Just at dusk, for just a couple of minutes they start to swirl in huge vortexes (vortices?) and then it's too dark to see them. Fascinating. Then in the morning they all fan out all over southern California to searh for food, only to fly back many miles the next night to roost and swirl again. I have watched them many times, but finally called the Audubon Society to get the details and of course they knew the real scoop. Just thought I'd mention it. :)

  4. Oops!! Forgot to mention the drawings are wonderful!


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