Crows and Seagulls

All winter I’ve been dumping the compost in a pile on the lawn to attract the crows and the seagulls.

Well, it’s not really on the lawn. It’s on top of the white, deep snow. Each snowfall buries the crow and seagull leftovers and I walk out wearing my high boots, sometimes with snow shoes attached. I head for the spot where I think I’ve last dumped the banana peels, the bits of bread, the carrot scrapings, the bloated noodles, the coffee grounds. We’ve had some melt these past few days and I see that I seriously misjudged the exact location!

When the snow completely disappears, I’ll have to shovel all the decomposing vegetation and move it to the real compost pile. It won’t be fun to do, but the entertainment factor of watching the seagulls swoop and dive and the crows strut their stuff will make it well worth it.

The seagulls are quite enormous compared to the small ones that hung around the garbage bins in the parking lots of the many fast-food places in Toronto.

The crows are raven-sized too and the cat has been wary of these birds since we moved here. She won’t set foot, or paw, outside if she hears them call.

"I can't go out today. I know THEY're out there."

Today I noticed a line of seagulls sitting high on the ridge of the roof, waiting for me to disappear so they could swoop down and check out my offerings.

We had a fire going at the bottom of that chimney, but the seagull sat on the top like she was a stork.

I find it odd that they are so skittish about people. In the city they’d think nothing of plucking an ice cream-cone out of a distracted child’s hand.

Usually the crows and seagulls challenge each other over the compost and the crows always win. They are smaller than the seagulls, so I don’t know what’s going on there.

I’ve been taking photos of the crows through the window, to use for future reference for paintings, but the crows must have amazing vision because any movement on my part makes them fly up to the trees to wait for me to leave.

I’ve tried to outlast them and I’ve sat down outside at a distance trying to look as non-threatening as I can, waiting for the to drop down from their high maple branches.

Like the seagulls, I always lose. Maybe crows are extremely camera-shy.

2 thoughts on “Crows and Seagulls

  1. This reminds me of the little red squirrels in Ontario that would chase their bigger black and grey cousins away from good feeding spots. I guess if you THINK big you can bluff your way into being dominant.

    Enjoying your Blog.

    Sybil (in Eastern Passage)

  2. Hi Sybil!
    Yes, it is like squirrels, isn’t it!
    I’ve also seen crows dive bomb birds of prey in the sky here….maybe crows derive their ‘strength’ from the fact that they cooperate with each other.
    I find it interesting that people in general have developed a contempt for the ‘wild animals’ that have adapted to live close to us. I mean like grackles, seagulls, pigeons, raccoons and even squirrels. Those animal’s successful adaptation has given them an evolutionary advantage over the non-adapters. I think that fact should make them admired, not scorned. They are all foragers, eating our discards…..well, especially in the cities.
    Anyway, it’s quite entertaining!

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