The Crow and the Car

Corvids are tricksters. These ravens, crows, magpies, and jays are some of the most intelligent and miscivious birds in the animal world; Ebony iconoclasts that have been represented in myth, poetry and folktales from Aesop, to Celtic tales, to Poe.

I can watch a pair of ravens for hours, as they turn inverted on the wing and dive bomb their kin or marvel at the secret language of crows, softly cawing to their clan.

The first major birding challenge when I started off was to tell the difference between a crow and a raven, two seemingly identical big black birds. It forced me to look deeper, beyond general appearances, to peel back the layers of shape, voice, and flight pattern.

I admire corvids so much as a fellow earth beings, that I named my blog Corvidsketcher. And you’d think if a murder of crows were going to pick on anyone in the Highlands neighborhood on a Sunday afternoon, surely it would not be me. But these birds do not care about what I think and what I love. They were there and young, perhaps they were also a little bored, and they were certainly intelligent and inquisitive, and a bright new shining silver car just appeared in their haunt. Let the mischief commence!

After a few hours in the classroom, I returned to the car that had 6 miles on the a odometer when I drove it off the lot, to find whitewash streaming down the sides. I knew it was only a matter of time before the car was officially “blessed”. Then I saw the small bits of rubber covering the roof! It was part of the moonroof seal. And I thought the moonroof would be great for highway raptor viewing.

It was not until I headed down the hill to the dealership that I heard the metallic rattling coming from the dashboard. Oh no, now what?! At the dealership I found that the driver side windshield wiper blade had been completely removed. A quick search with the words “crow” and “windshield wiper” confirmed my suspicion.

Ornithologist don’t really know why ravens and crows love to pick at moonroofs and swipe windshield wiper blades. It certainly isn’t a source of food for these corvids. It is possible that bored juveniles were just looking for something to occupy their intelligent minds. And that something was my brand new 2016 Subaru.

I have replaced the wiper blades and the moonroof hasn’t leaked, yet. And I still love corvids, even a murder of crow.

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