the common bird – the crow


Originally uploaded by common man.

This is this particular common man’s favorite common bird – a crow. This fellow was flying around Sankey Lake. There are lots of them here, and one can see them bathing, and balancing on a narrow thin branch, etc

Crows are really intelligent birds, capable of using tools (who dosen’t remember the story of the crow putting in pebbles to be able to reach the water!). There was a comic character in Tinkle called Kalia. Crows exhibhit collective complex social behaviour like protecting a helpless crow or getting together over a dead crow. There was a poem about this in my Kannada class but don’t remember the details. Have read that crows can learn to talk, and vaguely remember seeing some news clipping on those lines long ago.

Crows are sometimes considered ugly, and I remember someone giving a psudo-philosophical explanation of how an ugly crow throws out a melodious cuckoo bird’s fledglings. Actually that was blatant libel, its actually the poor crow that’s the victim. A cuckoo – another almost identical black bird (but has red eyes, and a very melodious voice) – lays its eggs in an unguarded crow’s nest, too lazy to fend for its kids itself. And the unsuspecting crow parents brings up the cuckoo fledgling as if it is its own, but the cuckoo becomes stronger than its crow foster-siblings and eventually throws them out whenever it gets a chance!

When I was a small kid, I remember we used to go for these family tours and crows were the usual sort of unwelcome visitors we inevitably had during our outdoor lunchtime. But then we kids would share our lunch with them, and I had discovered to my delight that some of the crows could actually catch pieces of food in mid-air! 8) During some point in my schooldays, I used to regularly go to my house terrace and share my breakfast with the crows. Then these things were so ordinary, but now I feel these are such a precious memories! 🙂

These days in Bangalore, sparrows have long gone. Crows are still around… for now…

5 Responses to “the common bird – the crow”

  1. preethi Says:

    Crows also have a special significance in Hindu religion.After a person’s death during few of the religious ceremonies some of the food is kept for the crow so that they can communicate with the souls.
    In hyderabad sadly in most of the parts crows are extinct.
    Sparrows are also a rare sight.

  2. Anand Balaji Says:

    We’ve a lot to learn from the common crow… community and bonding for example. The feelings of ‘we’ as against ‘me’ 🙄

  3. msanjay Says:

    thats true Anand 🙂
    And now that you mentioned it Preethi, in a funeral there’s a kind of story where if more number of crows come to eat the food left for them, it means the departed was a generous and good person! One might think that this might usually be teh case, but I’ve seen a couple of funerals where hardly any crows come even though the food has been kept out, but no idea about the story 🙂 maybe they just weren’t hungry 😉

  4. msanjay Says:

    An Akbar and Birbal story…

    One day Emperor Akbar and Birbal were taking a walk in the palace gardens. It was a nice summer morning and there were plenty of crows happily playing around the pond. While watching the crows, a question came into Akbar’s head. He wondered how many crows were there in his kingdom.

    Since Birbal was accompanying him, he asked Birbal this question. After a moment’s thought, Birbal replied, “There are ninety-five thousand four hundred and sixty-three crows in the Kingdom”.

    Amazed by his quick response, Akbar tried to test him again, “What if there are more crows than you answered?” Without hesitating Birbal replied, “If there are more crows than my answer, then some crows are visiting from other neighboring kingdoms”. “And what if there are less crows”, Akbar asked. “Then some crows from our kingdom have gone on holidays to other places”.

  5. msanjay Says:

    Crows are quite clean…

    Some more pictures from the kaage collection… all taken in Sankey tank…

    With the elite… two eagles(?) delighted me by elegantly floating down into this frame… the high res version of this image is in RAW format and I’m yet to get the hang of post-processing, so just putting in a low res version for the time being.

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