Crow Flying in Small Quarters
A couple of posts ago, I mentioned that I was trying to get a photo of a crow flying between two closely-situated trees. At the time, I had one of those, "I could have sworn that I got the shot!" moments. (And well I should have - I stood there next to the tripod for what seemed an eternity.) Anywho, when all was said and done, the image pulled a "D.B. Cooper" on me and disappeared... until now.
While the photograph is far from ideal, you should see my point. The crow has just flown through the narrow gap between those two trees and still has his wings drawn towards his body. It's tough to tell if the bird is on his first or second flap after the maneuver, but he clearly hasn't established the flat-wing, flat trajectory stroke that crows are known for. If I had to guess, I'd say he lost about 12" of altitude.
Why crows take such aeronautical risks is beyond me. He just as easily could have flown around the stand and been on his way. But if I had to venture a guess, I'd say it might be a matter of expediency, or perhaps a form of play. The latter explanation has real possibilities... We know that the corvids are highly intelligent, and that play is important to animals, even birds. (That last hyperlink is a must read if you're at all interested in bird behavior.) Then again, maybe the creatures are simply thrill seekers or show offs. Who knows... But they are a lot of fun to watch.
See you by those daring feeders,
P.S. We still have a word search puzzle contest waiting for a winner...
Cornell Ornithology Laboratory: Inside Birding
Cornell Ornithology Laboratory: All About Birding