Crows

Tribble

Killjoy Boffin
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#91
According to Wikipedia, "In Scotland, a magpie near the window of the house is said to foretell death."

Yesterday, Mrs. Tribble called me downstairs and to walk quietly because there was a magpie on the window ledge (one of the gang of five or so that frequent this neighbourhood) and it had tapped twice on the window. Ominous!

Or, more likely, it wanted me to put more food out on the newly-erected bird table at the bottom of the garden.

Edit : Informed this morning that someone I knew (ok, met once at a garden party) died. Friend of my mother's.
 
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#92
I think crows (and probably all animals) have a real sense of humour.

I used to live in a small crofting community. Across the (single-track) road from my house was a field mainly inhabited by rabbits. One day I observed a hooded crow stalk one of the rabbits which was grazing. The crow approached the rabbit from behind and when near enough, pecked the rabbit on the head. The rabbit, instead of fleeing, hopped off until a few feet out of range of the crow and continued to graze. The crow approached the rabbit once more and pecked it on the head again. The rabbit, as before, hopped out of range and continued grazing until it received a third peck on the head. This game between the crow and the rabbit went on for quite some considerable time.

I also saw a crow on overhead cables near the house. As it did with the rabbit, this crow was trying to play a game, this time the "peck the buzzard on the head" game. It was on the highest cable and a buzzard was perched on a lower cable. However, the buzzard was actually just out of reach of the crow. Undeterred,, the crow solved this problem by swinging upside down, like an acrobat on a high wire, on its cable, and was then close enough to peck the buzzard on the head.

I have also seen crows, and there are a lot of them where I live now, deliberately tease a passing buzzard into giving chase. All in all, crows seem to have a great sense of fun.
 
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