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Tell Us What You Know, Pretty Black Crow

Ok, allow me to set the scene: warm sunny morning—not a cloud in
the sky; followed by increasing black thunderheads rolling in; followed by
torrential rains; followed by clearing of the clouds; followed by brilliant
green foliage re-emerging; followed by birds of all kinds coming back into view.
This has been the routine in our neck of the woods for two weeks now.

Say hello to mama crow and her juvenile (notice the soft, willowy down on the youngster). Once the afternoon
thunderstorm had ended, these two decided to perch on our back wall and preen. They stayed very close to one another as they basked in the welcomed
dry air.

The last time I wrote about our mystical feathered friends, I featured the raven.
Today, the spotlight is on crow. Oftentimes, these two get mistaken for one another,
but a surefire way to distinguish the American Crow from the Common Raven is by
noticing the following: 1) Crow is much smaller in length, measuring 16-21
inches versus raven, that measures 22-30 inches. 2) Raven has a much larger
bill. If seen perched in a good look, the huge bill and shaggy throat are diagnostic. 4) Crow has a much smaller wingspan that measures 9.6-13 inches versus raven at
40-59 inches. 5) Crow can be found in the country, farms, and in recent years,
predominantly in city environments. Raven can be found in artic and sub tropic
climates, as well as city and forested environments; however, raven prefers
wooded, cooler habitats.

Now that we have THAT straightened out, let’s talk about crow’s unique symbolism.

Crow is a spirit animal associated with life mysteries and
magic. We can find crows just about anywhere around the globe. As such, they
remind us that magic is everywhere; we need only open our eyes, minds and
hearts to experience it. The most common associations with crow are: Life’s
Magic, Mystery of Creation, Destiny, Personal Transformation, Alchemy,
Intelligence, Higher Perspective, Flexibility, Adaptability, Mischievous,
Trickster and Luck. What I love most about the crows of the world is their
song—believe it or not, crows have many different sounds in their communication
with their fellow brethren. The American Crow is not known for the beauty of
its song, a series of loud caws; however, if you stick around long enough and
pay close enough attention, you may also hear crows making a “subsong”—a
mixture of hoarse or grating coos, caws, rattles, and clicks. These are
arranged in sequences that can be many minutes long, communicated in a low
quiet tone and with a rambling, improvised quality. I have personally
experienced crow’s song and it’s fascinating to hear.

Thank you, Crow…



2 Responses to Tell Us What You Know, Pretty Black Crow

  1. Byron August 14, 2013 at 8:19 pm #

    Very cool. I know the difference between Raven and Crow now because of you Noelle! These are SO obvously crow since I’ve taken the time to notice. This is an interesting picture to me because I had not thought of these birds as familial. Clearly ther is some parenting of some sort here…and outside the nest .

    • Noelle Meade August 16, 2013 at 2:51 am #

      THANK YOU, Byron! Yes, these birds are very social, playful, and in my observation, loving…

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