[CT Birds] Feeder Crows

Dennis Riordan driordan at snet.net
Wed Jan 8 12:25:48 EST 2014

I have an American crow family and a fish crow family living in my neighborhood in New Haven (adjacent to Yale athletic fields). The crows generally only visit the front yards along the street and the Yale fields. In the fall there are often large numbers (>200) of mixed crows that feed on acorns in front yards. 
This year, however, several times the murders have ventured into my backyard to feed on the cracked corn that I put out for the ground feeders. They’ve been rather comical to watch as the walk around the Yale field and perch in the nearby trees, carefully looking at the yard as if trying to decide if its safe. You can almost hear them thinking, “Hmmm, should I give it a go? That corn looks tasty.” Then as many as 15 have come into the yard and actually gotten within about 5’ of the house. And they are wary! It doesn’t take much to spook them. My slightest movement visible from a window and they’re gone.
As I said, this is the first year that they’ve been feeder crows.

Dennis Riordan
New Haven

> Message: 5
> Date: Wed, 8 Jan 2014 10:59:03 -0500 (EST)
> From: Mntncougar at aol.com
> To: ctbirds at lists.ctbirding.org
> Subject: [CT Birds] Feeder Crows
> Message-ID: <9146a.60b65865.3ffecfc7 at aol.com>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="US-ASCII"
> For as long as I can remember there has been a small flock  (murder?) of 
> Am. Crows in my neighborhood which has fluctuated between 4 and  (currently) 5 
> individuals. I'm sure the members have changed, but the number  stays the 
> same. 
> This year, I have been surprised to see that they come to my  yard 
> virtually every day, and feed in the area where I spread seed for the  typical 
> ground feeders (90% Juncos). Once in a while one of them even goes to  one of my 
> platform feeders, and sometimes they use my heated birdbath for a  drink or 
> an occasional dip in the pool. I have never seen this before on  anything 
> but an occasional basis.
> The food I put in my feeders is from Ocean State and is a  typical 
> high-percentage BOSS mix, but it does have a lot of cracked corn in it,  more this 
> year I think. And some of that seed gets scattered on the ground by  some of 
> the more messy or aggressive feeders. However,  the mix I put on the ground 
> has no corn at all, and consists of mostly milo and  millet with a small 
> amount of BOSS thrown in.
> When the flock arrives, typically 1 to 3 of them will land and  feed, the 
> others sitting in the trees as if keeping watch, and occasionally they  
> rotate. 
> I am just curious if others see this behavior on a regular  basis.  
> Don  Morgan
> Coventry

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