Tuesday, January 17, 2012


I read a description of crow behavior today by a far flung friend of mine. Well, an acquaintance, maybe, though I wish she were a friend. Some of my interests and behavior may appear a little dodgy, in fact, as I tend to squawk without warning sometimes, often chasing after moon beams and lost causes, which can put some people off.

She was right about the crow's varying dialects, though - south of the Mississipi {at St. Paul, i.e.), I can detect a different inflection in their voice and language. And the city crows compared to the country ones, too. More raucous, though not what I would find entirely disagreeable.

In the day, family members and neighbors would complain about the crow's early rising habits, but I welcome anything that harmonizes so well with the trains in this town built from the rails, often on the cusp of dawn in the quiet solitude before a brazen world wakes from its slumber. Maybe their calls are a greeting, though more likely a warning, or perhaps they call to one another in an attempt to spur some confidence and strength to face another day. And I usually take heed when another loner bird speaks to me, which quite mysteriously happens from time to time - well, most times, I do.

once, the old crow
gave me a sign;
I should have listened



altadenahiker said...

You do have something of the crow about you. You’re proud, and you strut. You’re smart, and crafty, and can speak in several languages.

You conceptualize; you’re good with tools, and measure a problem from more than a single angle.

I’ll bet you rarely forgive an enemy or forget a friend. I’m a friend.

Rick Daddario said...

i dont know crows all that well but have been around them enough to note differences in their language/sound from place to place (including St. Paul/Minneapolis, Boston/Cape Cod, The North West USA, Florida, Australia, India and a few other places.

what i'm not now so sure about is how "loner" crows are. i think there are loner crows (i could be wrong on that). still... yeah i think there are outsider "loner" crows... whether they choose to be loners or are relegated to that roll by murders... yeah, i dont know that either.

i know they are a grouping bird too however - a murder of crows - which can be for me fascinating to watch.

in fact i most often hear crows in that grouping (and not so much the loner crow - at least that i've noticed - may be the loner crow is a bit more quiet so that it can get away with stealth rather than depending on an alarm) - because the murders post sentries and the sentries sound alarms and give all clear calls too - etc. as the rest of the murder goes about it's business.

okay, now i've charged off on my blurting roll. again. still... yeah, fascinating creatures - bandits and birds - crows included.

Crow Babble On. aloha

pat n said...

me, i love crows! there are huge murders of crows where i live & they always have something to say about the day.... it's snowing, raining... my comings and goings.

wonderful piece, willie. i really enjoyed it.
thank you!

Anonymous said...

How I love them. A murder of them can be as large as 7,000. Also, they return to their roost at the end of day, traveling a circumference of apprx 35 miles daily. Their memory is acute. An ongoing study in Japan has so far identified the ability of a baby crow to remember the sound of its mother's voice. I enjoyed your crow haibun very much and not just because Ilike them but because you seem to possess their nature and spirit. They use tools with their beaks. Who knows, maybe they write . . .

Rick Daddario said...

aloha Bandit. again.

the more I read/speak your Haibun ku in my skull the stronger it becomes in my like department. yeah I like that a lot.

@ Donna Fleischer wow, a 7,000 crow murder, wow- how dark the sky - yeah I think crow write.

wing poetry
writing the sky

bandit said...

Boy, 'Hiker, I'm full of myself now . . . I'm more forgiving now, can't store them negative waves: 'tis unhealthy. I won't forget you, though.

Hi, Pat, glad you like. Had a generally good feeling about it.

Donna - Wow! I'd like to see that. Imagine in Audubon's time . . .

Good on yer, Rick! Cool imagery.

Pasadena Adjacent said...

I'm completely intrigued by the idea that a flock of crow would be referred to as "murder" with all that that implies. I wonder if crows were burnt at the stake with their despised cousins of the condemned; women and cats.

Bill said...

the thoughts
that refuse to be gathered –
a crow caws

edge of the woods
an invitation
of crows

bandit said...

"murder", more a literary device, I've heard.

Bill - is it you or the crow with the last word? Naw, the conversation continues - just listen.

Rick Daddario said...

ṥƙẙ ɖãȑƙέŋ
ã ღǘȑɖέȑ ƈṏŋṿέȑṥãナįṏŋ
įŋ ƈȑṏῴ

Pasadena Adjacent said...

I traced this back from wiki as to the murder issue

bandit said...

A cool site, and pithy comments!