22/06/2024

The Critters

For Nice Critters

Crows as Pets? Don’t Even Think About It!

Crows as Pets? Don’t Even Think About It!

In Van Gogh’s “Wheatfield Under Threatening Skies with Crows,” crows are shown in the middle plane of the painting, like an ill-fated force, between the menacing skies and the grain. True, the crows have an eye on the grain, but they are also unpredictable and playful. Although they act as if they do not even recognize the existence of a human nearby, these birds are always well aware of their surroundings.

I had never thought of crows as pets until I entered the office of someone my husband knew and found a big black crow sitting on her head. This lady was an animal lover and a licensed pet care-giver; she had found this crow hurt and had healed him back to health.

She told me, even though she let him free in her backyard, the crow came back to her. She never kept the crow locked in a cage; although there was a cage with the door removed in her house. She always left a window open and the crow was free to come and go as he pleased. This lasted through the summer.

At the end of the summer, the crow disappeared and probably became a member of a flock, then migrated, because that’s what crows do and keeping them locked up is against the laws of nature. It might have been sad for that lady to see her pet leave, since that crow was so bright and loving, but because the lady was so knowledgeable on the subject, she understood.

Never think of a crow as a pet; you should not even attempt to get, catch, or buy one. To start with, under the Migratory Bird Act, it is illegal to hold a crow and a permit is very difficult or impossible to obtain. Should you, however, find a young nestling crow thrown out of its nest and if you live in the middle of a wilderness, you might try to nurse the bird to adulthood, with the understanding that he will one day leave you.

If you find a hurt wild bird and don’t know how to attend to it, take him to a vet or someone licensed in bird care. Around where you live, if you don’t know anyone qualified for the job, call your state’s wildlife authority or find an Audubon center close to you. You can do so on the website http://www.audubon.org/, by entering your zip code.

Helping out an orphan crow is easy because crows will eat practically anything. A good basic diet for such a bird should contain bird vitamins and calcium, oatmeal, hardboiled egg-yolk and some ground beef to make up for the insects most birds are so fond of eating.

If the bird is very young, he’ll need to be handfed. Don’t be afraid to put your finger gently inside its beak, since baby crows eat from their mothers’ beaks. By the time the crow is six weeks old, he’ll feed himself. Give the bird enough space to fly, like a room. When he is strong enough, leave the window open, so he can fly away and live his life as nature intended it to.

Crows belong to the family of corvids and they fly in large flocks around the cities, suburbs, and the countryside. Magpies, jays, cloughs, nutcrackers and a few other birds are related to crows. Most of the crows are black but there are blue, purple, brown, gray, and albino crows in existence.

Crows, as very intelligent animals, are known to mimic human talk and engage in games among themselves. Better yet, they have proven themselves to be too smart to be afraid of scarecrows.

With their unpredictability, crows have encouraged human imagination and have placed themselves inside many myths. Yet, like humans, they possess their own kind of culture or life-style that deserves to be respected.