Murdering Crows

Spring migration is underway with new birds arriving in northern Minnesota every day.

One bird that migrates out of the Crane Lake area in the dead of winter is the American Crow. At Crane Lake they have historically left the area in December and then returned the end of February. Many Crows just migrate to southern Minnesota and some winter as close as the Iron Range. In the winter here, the Crow is replaced by huge Ravens that migrate down from Canada and spend the winter around Crane Lake. Some of the local Ravens don’t migrate and will hang around their nest sites to defend their territory.

Prior to this winter, I thought the only big black birds here in the winter were the Common Ravens, but this year I had a pair of Crows visiting the birdfeeders in my backyard. I believe this pair of Crows nest on the island and I think they decided to stay in their territory to protect their nest site. I’ve watched them survive the weather by eating sunflower seeds. They’re probably finding other scraps of food in the area too, but it’s curious to watch them gulp down whole sunflower seeds.

A flock of Crows is called a “murder of Crows” and a flock of Ravens is called an “unkindness”. Such descriptions are interesting to me and maybe it suggests that these birds are not well-liked. Some superstitions that are negative in tone involve Crows, Ravens, and even Owls.

So I saw a joke on the internet this winter that would describe this photo of my two “yard” crows:


Attempted Murder of Crows

Attempted Murder





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