On Birds


There is a crow who visits our yard. We call her Sharp-Beak for her top beak extends well past the lower. She defends this yard from all other interloper crows and for some time there were aerial bouts in and out of the trees, quite often leaving feathers behind on the grass. Ironically, we also have a visiting Steller's Jay, and she only has a bottom beak, the top being but a stub of growth. We call her, yes, Half-Beak. You can see her black tongue flicking in and out like a snake's. They get along okay and I never see any battles between them.

The energy of the Jay, Half-Beak is lively, curious and very bold and sees no problem with coming right into the kitchen for a hand-out. Naughty.

Sharp-Beak, on the other hand, is watchful and composed. She will sit still as night, in the apple tree, rarely even shifting her position, thinking crow thoughts.

While I know they are here for the peanuts, they stay around after their handout and rest and groom a few feet away in the apple tree, which is nice as the top of the apple tree is level with the deck. It is a peaceful hour until the neighbourhood jays come swooping in, screeching and hollering and darting about and we all leave in annoyance. Upstarts.