For the Birds: Where Can you Stop Crowing

by | May 2, 2024

It’s been quite a week in our yard.

Last Thursday, we let our dog Steve out back to roam the yard, as he does. We’re on the second floor, so as he trotted down the stairs, I took a gander around the yard and noticed a crow hanging out.

Steve went over to mark his territory on a palm plant. Steve is fairly oblivious and a pacifist.

I found it strange that went Steve went to pee, the crow didn’t take off. Then, Steve finished his business, saw the crow hopping around, and must have assumed it was a toy. He playfully pounced towards it as a bird-dog would do.

I saw what was happening and immediately started screaming at Steve, “No! Come! Steve! No!”

Steve was stricken and stood there with a confused look on his face. Then, full chaos.

Four large crows started FREAKING OUT and squawking and screaming and dive bombing and bombarding the backyard. At this point, Mike came out from inside asking, “What in the Sam Hill is going on out here?!”


Mike ran down and grabbed Steve, and guided him back up to our deck.

Then, I checked the crow in question. It had a busted wing—bloody. The wing was still intact, but clearly, he was injured. It was not a Steve-induced injury–the bird was broken before Steve jumped. Now I had my answer as to why the bird hadn’t flown away when they saw Steve. It couldn’t.

The squawking continued. The injured bird puttered around the yard. We went about our business. On Friday, I went to check on the bird and couldn’t find it. A few hours later, I went to water my plants, and the injured bird was ON OUR DECK A FOOT AWAY FROM ME. I ran inside. I’m not sure why.

I called animal control about the bird’s wing. They “don’t do birds.” They gave me a number to a rescue. I called, she tried to convince me they were baby crows, and I was like, WRONG it’s not a baby, and basically didn’t like what she had to say so I got off the phone with her.

The bird lady knew what she was talking about because later in the day, I looked down, and there were three “baby” crows. Baby crows are the size of most grown birds, FYI. So we had a crow family. And clearly, the parents were not pleased with me or Steve.

I was chilling on the deck Friday afternoon, checking out the baby crows, when ALL OF A SUDDEN, THE NEIGHBOR’S CAT ATTACKED THE CROW-LETS! I started yelling again; parent crows swooped in to attack the cat…it was like a National Geographic special up in here.

Stop crowing, Erin, and get to the point. I hear ya.

Mike and I headed out to walk to town for dinner. Guess who came with us? The parent crows, screaming and squawking. They followed us, I kid you not, for five blocks, perching on telephone wires, stopping on trees, scoping us out the whole time, crowing their hearts out.

Walking home from dinner, guess who came to greet us five blocks out? Correct. The crows.

Since Friday, we cannot leave our house without being trailed by screaming crows. It’s loud. It’s annoying. It’s mildly embarrassing.

I did a little crow research, and they are smart as hell. Turns out they remember faces.

I asked around for advice on how to deal with the crows. There was the Florida option, “Don’t you have a gun?! Shoot ‘em!” (We do not have a gun. Plus that’s not nice.)

I was told I should apologize to the crows. Explain the situation. Tell them I’m sorry.

Oh, because I forgot to mention, Sunday morning, I went to look for the hurt crow, and it had gone to crow heaven. 🙁

At my wit’s end because of the crowing, I stood on my porch and apologized to the crows. (Do not unsubscribe — swear I didn’t know what else to do.)

I then gave them an offering of cashews. I left a line of them on the deck railing, returned to work, and returned to an empty railing! The offering had been received!

I realized I didn’t know by whom or what. The crows? A cardinal? A squirrel?

If you’re wondering if I then put out more cashews and set up my camera to see who took said offering, I did. The video tape proved it: IT WAS A PAPA CROW.

The thing is, the offering hasn’t worked. The apology was not accepted. I walk to the beach, flanked by crows. I sit in my backyard; they come swooping in, start screaming at me, and then pull off leaves and madly peck trees. I walk Steve accompanied by crows.

On a few walks and talks this week, I’ve been asked by the people on the other end of the phone line, “What IS that?!?!?!?” The crows.

They are making me crazy. (Did I mention I spoke to them? Crazy.)

Perhaps the conversation I should have with the crows is, “Bro, you got the wrong guy. I was trying to help. Steve was trying to play. Go stalk the damn cat and get all up in the neighbor’s business!”

The crows are all fired up over a wrong assumption. The crows don’t know the full story. The crows only see their side of it. For that, I am paying the consequences.

They’re pissed. I’m pissed. It’s disconcerting to be trailed around your neighborhood by mean-ass crows.

Is there someone on your team or in your life that you are being crow-like? Wrongly assuming something about their actions? Wrongly assuming the meaning of a conversation?

Perhaps you’re looking at the perceived impact of an action over their intention, and that perception is riling you up, leading to judgments that may or may not be true.

I’m hoping you’re not trailing this person around screaming at them — but the silent treatment might be happening. Avoidance. Snippiness. Aggravation.

Do you have the facts? Do you know the full picture? Might you be misjudging? Might there be more to the story?

Where can you get curious and find out the facts from someone who has gotten your goat or is under your skin?

I might suggest you engage in a conversation with them and ask them some questions. Find out the facts. You may then stop the noise and exhaustion and chaos that comes from festering misunderstandings.

Chances are you’ll have more luck than I’ve had in trying to communicate with the crows.


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