Corvid Not Covid

We have jackdaws on all our roofs in this village - but also rooks living nearby. There's a large rookery, not a million miles from where this picture was taken, but we get some of the overspill in the big tree over the fence at the bottom of the garden.

One of the (few) advantages of being more or less confined to house and garden, with a wholly empty calendar, is the time to stand and stare, usually out of the window. And today, something intriguing happened.

I had popped a croissant in the oven this morning, mostly because it needed eating and we're not wasting any food at all if we can help it. Not that we do, really, but it's even more vital when you don't know when you can get to the shops.

Anyway, something intervened and I forgot all about it, with the result that it wasn't exactly charcoal, but was definitely too hard and brown to eat. So I waited until it had cooled and put it out for the birds, crumbling most of it up, but leaving a few larger pieces.

When I looked out a few moments later, the biggest rook was - as he or she always is - in possession of the bird table, while the smaller birds, even the jackdaws, stood back at a respectful distance, so that the boss could take her pick of the best morsels. So far so normal.

But what happened next was fascinating.

She filled her beak with a few flakes of quite dry croissant and I thought that she might be going to fly away with them. In fact I wondered if she was feeding young, which may well be the case. But she hopped down from the bird table, and walked purposefully the few yards to where I had just filled the little bird bath with fresh water. Then she hopped up onto the side of the bath, and proceeded to put the flakes into the water, giving them time to soften, before carefully hoovering them up again and swallowing them, repeating this until all were gone. Effectively dunking them. Only then did she fly away. Possibly to regurgitate for her young, or possibly - since it is quite early - to sit somewhere to digest her meal.

Either way, it was fascinating - and I'm sorry there are no pictures, but if I had opened the door she would have taken fright and I was too busy watching her.


alison333 said…
That's amazing. So smart, reminds me of my crow....the one who used to visit me every day a few years ago.