Covidae

I’ve got a bit of a thing about the crow family, Covidae, as the Romans would have called them. It includes the obvious candidates: rooks, choughs, magpies and jackdaws. But I’ve just found out that nuthatches are part of the clan too. I watched them once on a bird feeder, bold as brass, on someone’s kitchen window. In my book them entire crow family are such handsome buggers and really smart as well.

My suitably crow themed picture today is from a past jaunt away in Klaus the Knaus down to Cornwall. The metal sculpture, ‘Rook with a Book’ is on the estuary at Fowey. My son won’t remember it but he would recall the nattily named ice cream parlour, ‘Game of Cones’ that is nearby.

Once, I watched a crow creating a larder, burying its food on a campsite where we were staying. Let’s hope that no-one pitched their tent over it when he came back feeling a bit peckish. They’re friendly too. I had a lovely chat with a crow the other day who was sitting on one of the barred windows at work. Our ‘residents’ probably feed him so he probably knows that he’s onto a good thing hanging around humans, even those who’ve had a brush with the law.

One of the things that I’ve learnt recently is that covidae sometimes leave little gifts for humans in appreciation for being fed. I read on Facebook about one that had left over a tenner in coins for a lucky recipient. Someone speculated as to whether there was more to this than an appreciation for shiny objects. Did the bird realise that money had intrinsic value for us guys? Another commentator was far more down to earth. Could the person’s feathered friend be taught to recognise twenty pound notes?

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  1. Big crow fan here too, although as I type there are two magpies making one hell of a racket in our garden- mating row I suspect. I taught Ted Hughes book of poems Crow many years ago, this enhanced my enjoyment of crows. Popular with students too so happy all round.