You Gotta Know When To Hold 'Em

Doesn't it remind you of Audrey II from Little Shop of Horrors? That's no meat eating space plant, that is a young crow that has fallen from the nest. It was found on one of the trails at Carpenter Nature Center today. A few feet away was its sibling dead on the ground. No visible bits of nest were found on the ground, but it wasn't super windy last night, so I don't think they were blown out. We're not sure what happened, I suspect something like a raccoon or owl attacked the nest and the young were knocked down.

No that's not a sarlacc pit, that's just the young crow--it would beg for food from anything walking by. Now the question was: do we take it to the Wildlife Rehab Center or do we leave it on the ground? The bird was mostly covered in feathers. The flight feathers weren't fully developed yet, so it was a few days away from being able to fly. It could stand, but the use of its feet were still awkward, although the young crow was able to manage squirming its way around on the ground. My inclination was to see if we could find what was left of the nest and put it back in. It was young enough that it would stay.

We couldn't really find the nest, but I planted myself behind a tree several yards away and watched. An adult crow flew in and called to the young crow but didn't go down to the ground. Crows are as incredibly intelligent as they are cagey. I have a feeling that the adult crow knew I was there and wouldn't go down as long as I was in its sight line. We decided to leave the crow there and attach a basket to the tree and put the young bird in there so that way it would be off the trail, a little safer from predators, and could still be raised by crow parents.

It can be a tough call when trying to determine if a young bird needs help. I am always in favor of birds raising birds. Sure we humans can teach them the basics, but not quite everything an adult crow would know. And birds certainly still will take care of young birds out of the nest, even if they have been handled by humans. You can put up a new mock nest as long as it is in the same general area as the old nest. It'll be interesting to see what happens.

I'm glad I didn't take it to the WRC. It was so cute, it would have been a challenge to to not illegally keep it and imprint it.