Perhaps he was trying to master the intricacies of flight, or enjoying the overwhelming feeling
of wind surging past wings; or, again, perhaps he was scavenging for food, pecking at a carcass in the middle
of the highway, as crows will do when the opportunity arises. You see, it takes some expertise to safely peck at carcasses on major highways! Crows do it very
well, knowing exactly when to take flight from dangerous
traffic. However, young crows are vulnerable to accidents, as it
takes time to learn to recognize the danger of theautomobile, and at least a little good fortune to survive
the learning experience.
In any event, "good fortune" wasn't with this crow. My brother Glenn discovered him as he
drove east on Highway 103 near Halifax, lying on the shoulder of the road with feet badly
battered, and feathers broken or mangled on various parts of his body. He was simply miserable! But he was
also fortunate in that he was in the hands of very caring people. In the months that followed, my brother and
his family carefully nursed him back to a semblance of good health.
Of course, little could be done for the feathers, broken beak,
and mangled feet.
This, then, was his condition when my brother gave me the crow in October 1989. I
was anxious to take him because I have always felt a deep affinity towards those birds. As well,
Glenn felt that the crow would have a much better life in a country setting - a place in some ways
much less restrictive to a bird than the sub-division environment in which he and his family
lived. He was small for a young crow, as his growth had been stunted by the accident. After
giving the matter much thought, I decided to keep him in a large cardboard box in my cabin, and
wasdelighted when he accepted his new home, particularly the dried grasses in the
bottom of the box.
This is where he spent the remainder of autumn and the winter months
that followed. Later, in early spring, nature rewarded my two-winged friend with new feathers, and mended his
beak to its original shape and size. This latter miracle
occured ontrary to the educated opinion of certain
people who assured me that a crow could not grow a new beak. However, the feet are another
story. They healed, but remained badly disfigured, making it impossible for him to perch on a branch. It was
obvious that this crow could not survive on his own.