Friday, February 23, 2007

Thoughts on crows


I don't know if crows migrate. I don't think so. But man, I notice these large crowds of them in the winter, and I don't in summer.

I could find out pretty quick, I am a librarian and people ask me that kind of thing all the time. "Do crows migrate?" "Who's my senator?" "What's the GDP of France?" "How much is rent in Gabon?"

But after answering all those questions, I'm kind of content to not know whether or not crows migrate. Don't tell me. I'd rather wonder idly while I'm waiting for the light to turn green. What's blacker, a crow or a crow's shadow on a sunny, frigid day?

The other thing I notice while I'm waiting for the light to turn green is that crows don't flock. You'll see a whole batch of them struggling across the sky, like commuters heading for the subway, but they're not banking and wheeling in unison like pigeons do.

Pigeons, jeez. You wonder why they fly anywhere at all. Just stay in one place, right? It's not like some cat came out on the building ledge and scared them all off, and it's not like Look at the time! We've got to get over to the roof of the BP before the buffet closes!

Crows have reasons to go places. Bugs to eat. Roosts to get back to before dark.

Right now they're flying in that lunging uncoordinated way down to the trees by the creek in the park. Black scraps crossing the sunset. Looking kind of epic, or looking like black plastic bags in the wind, depending how you catch them.