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22 minutes ago, TexasCobra said:

There's a major crow roost in suburban Vancouver, where many/most of the crows in the city flock home in the evening. The estimate is apparently 13-20000 of them. The roost has been developed and is now a semi-industrial / box stores kind of an area, and it's hilarious to see that many crows hanging out in e.g. a McDonald's parking lot. We have huge overflights of crows in the evenings - I was in a park one afternoon keeping a casual list and had to include 1300 crows in my count - an eagle flew across and had about 300 follow it to chase it off.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Excerpt from an old book I was enjoying once again the other day. :classic_smile:

 Its called Far Away and Long Ago. An interesting story in general and a lot of birding mixed in.

"One evening I told him and our eldest brother that I had seen a strange thing in a bird which had led me to find out something new. Our commonest species was the parasitic cowbird, which laid its eggs anywhere in the nests of all the other small birds. Its colour was a deep glossy purple, almost black; and seeing two of these birds flying over my head, I noticed that they had a small chestnut-coloured spot beneath the wing, which showed that they were not the common species. It had then occurred to me that I had heard a peculiar note or cry uttered by what I took to be the cowbird, which was unlike any note of that bird; and following this clue, I had discovered that we had a bird in our plantation which was like the cowbird in size, colour, and general appearance, but was a different species. They appeared amused by my story, and a few days later they closely interrogated me on three consecutive evenings as to what I had seen that was remarkable that day, in birds especially, and were disappointed because I had nothing interesting to tell them.

The next day my brother said he had a confession to make to me. He and the elder brother had agreed to play a practical joke on me, and had snared a common cowbird and dyed or painted its tail a brilliant scarlet, then liberated it, expecting that I should meet with it in my day's rambles and bird-watching in the plantation and would be greatly excited at the discovery of yet a third purple cowbird, with a scarlet tail, but otherwise not distinguishable from the common one. Now, on reflection, he was glad I had not found their bird and given them their laugh, and he was ashamed at having tried to play such a mean trick on me!"

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