Friday

The Watchful Crow



The crows that live around the village began to make their nests the last couple of weeks... I know because they have been flying past the windows with long sticks and branches... wider than their wingspan and heading over to a very tall spruce tree in the field below. ...

Now that is a sign of spring for me...

On their way by they keep a steady watch for any tidbits that I may have left out for them on the front lawn... They come and sit on the treetops near the house or the surrounding trees of the field.... balancing on the very tips... hanging on as the wind blows them to and fro... waiting for the right time to pick up their prize...




When they feel the coast is clear... meaning all three dogs are no where in sight... They land a fair distance from the goodies and slowly and nonchalantly walk across the driveway ... the closer they get to the prize... the more cautious they become... naturally...

Yesterday, it was particularly fun to watch... as one of the pair made frequent quick trips, gathering treats... taking them to the bases of nearby bushes where the dead grass from last year was thick and dry... The crow scuffed it up a bit ... placed his treat in amongst the grass and quickly covered it and flew back as fast as he could, to do it all over again...

He was smart... he never hid any of his treats in the same place twice...

approx. 4" x 6" ink, watercolor, brush and crow quill on 140 lb. CP Arches WC paper

19 comments:

Sandy said...

Loved reading about their coming and going and building. Great painting. Enjoyed it all.

sandy

Marie Alton said...

These are interesting creatures!
I have many of them around here...watching one then several that appear in the morning. Cool.

Anet said...

I just love your crows! I was teaching my preschoolers about bird's nest this week! It's fasinating how different birds use different techniques. We have one with a store reciept built into it and another with some sort of plastic. Very resourceful birds! One used tiny sticks and fluffy plant stuff and another used mud and grass. I wonder how a crow builds his nest? I bet it would be a great subject for one of your paintings!

oldmanlincoln said...

Sure reminds me of some of my feathered friends. Thanks for visiting my bird blog too.

This is nice work. I like everything about it -- light color, shadow, texture.

I hope you can visit my brookvilleohiodailyphoto.blogspot.com blog and read about my hospital visit.

Abraham Lincoln in Brookville, Ohio.

Ruth said...

Crow quill?? Now that is too cool.

Beautiful painting/pen & ink.

And I too love reading about the crow's habits while you observe. Picturing him 'nonchalantly' walking is funny.

Do you ever leave bits for them to add to their nests? Or is it just food bits?

Don said...

Crows are so suspicious! I'm surprised they come regularly to your smorgasbord. As usual, your art is inspiring!

rivergardenstudio said...

Gwen, I love this post! I too know that spring is here because of the behavior of some of my favorite birds. The female redwing black birds have arrived in southern Oregon and have claimed their territory in the rushes and tulles. Their call is so lovely. Now pelicans are out on the wetlands, but when they soar over our river and my garden I REALLY know it's spring at last. What a long winter this is! Your drawing is wonderful too. I just put some bird sketches on my blog as well. Thanks for sharing your story, Roxanne

Bill Evertson said...

You're crow pix are so expressive! Many people are attracted to song birds. Now I've been watching crows more closely. While we have many smaller birds at the feeder, the crows stalk around and have occasional "incidents" with the hawks. Endless lessons. Great art!

Gwen Buchanan said...

Thank you,Roxanne...
I hear the birds singing more everyday... But Oh my, Pelicans Soaring over... I just cannot imagine... What a sight!

Gwen Buchanan said...

Not as nice as your birds Abe... Glad you are recovering... I was looking at all your crows on flicker today... Did I love them! I would like to paint them...

Gwen Buchanan said...

Thanks Sandy, I always love going to your sites.. there is always something new and interesting, about almost everything!

Gwen Buchanan said...

Hi Anet, Loved to hear about your birds nests, whew... birds down your way even go shopping... Fun!
We have one that has the hair from a cows tail wrapped round and round, and one made with tiny strips of birch bark...

Gwen Buchanan said...

Thanks Ruth and Don,
I was visiting my daughter and across the street from her house was another crow at work on an old soaked fairly large piece of tree bark lying on the ground...
He was ripping small long shreds from it. Standing on it for traction & Pulling and tearing and filling up his mouth before flying off...

Busy time of year for birds... I can't imagine building a house every year... If I was a bird I wouldn't be very fruitful.. it took me 8 years to build my house...

Gwen Buchanan said...

bill, maybe you can do something with crows in photoshop.. I have never used it but really like what you are doing with reflections..

laura said...

Very compelling--there's so much intelligence in these birds, in the way you've represented them. And I like that you used a crow quill!! I found a huge seagull feather--about 14 inches long--on the beach last week and am going to try to convert it to a pen (if I can wrest it from my young cat).

CrowsCountCoup said...

Enjoyed the paintings & observations and loved the photography currently on first page. You live in a beautiful place.

Some of the crows I watch also move their cache several times, but others (I suspect inexperienced crows) hide their food only once even when a raven is watching. Of course as soon as the crow leaves the raven steals the food.

Enjoy your writing

Gwen Buchanan said...

crows count... very interesting job... I would love to take part in something like that...I wasn't thinking that ravens would steal the crows stash... but they are even bigger and just as intelligent!

laura, I saw a few spots on the net that give pretty good directions on making writing quills from crows and seagull feathers... Hope you managed to rescue it from your kitty.

Shayla said...

I love the texture of your sketch-he looks like quite a character.

Gwen Buchanan said...

Shayla there is quite a murder of these fellows around here... I really love watching them...

Keep up the wonderful pastel.. they are so alive...