Quoth the Raven

There’s a crow flying
Black & ragged
Tree to tree
He’s black as the highway that’s leading me
Now he’s diving down
To pick up on something shiny
I feel like that black crow
In a blue sky.

Joni Mitchell

If you follow this blog, you know I love the sound of the birds singing. No matter which home I’m living, I open up the doors and windows early in the morning when I arise so that I can listen to the lovely sound of birds chirping. This past spring, I was able to watch quails as they sat on their eggs in the nest they had built in my geranium pot. I like birds.

I thought I liked all kinds of birds, but I have learned in the past week that there is a species of birds that I not only don’t like, but I actively and heartily DISLIKE.


For the first time that I can remember in the 28 years we have lived in this Denver abode, we have a murder of crows living either in one of our trees or in one of a nearby neighbor’s tree. I have seen seven or eight of them at a time dining luxuriously on the worms they are pulling out of our lawn, particularly after it rains.

I don’t mind if they are using my yard as a cafeteria. It’s the food chain. It’s the circle of life. Eat away, Mr. and Mrs. Crow. However, lately they have taken to starting their cawing sound early in the morning, just as the sun is beginning to rise. You’ve heard crows cawing, right? It’s an extremely unpleasant sound. It’s loud and shrill and incessant. Our crows start early and never seem to know when to stop.

I assume there is a reason for their cawing. I don’t think they have set out to purposely become Southmoor Park’s alarm clock. In fact, I’m probably the only person who hears their terrible racket because other people are smart enough to close their windows and run their air conditioners. I, however, love the night sounds and leave ours open. Or I did, anyway, until the night sounds became the dawn sounds of never-ending cawing. As for Bill, if a car crashed through our garage door, Bill might snuffle and turn over, but it wouldn’t awaken him. He sleeps soundly.

I have googled the entire issue, of course. Lo, and behold, Lennon and McCartney were right. Blackbirds sing in the dead of night. Why? To get a drop on the other birds who are still sleeping. Their song may well be a mating sound. They might simply want to be heard.

Of course, I also learned that there is a difference between ravens, crows, and blackbirds. Blackbirds are smaller, and it seems they have a much pleasanter sound than the irritating sound made by crows. And if Edgar Allan Poe is right and the raven quoths nevermore, I should only be so lucky that the crow would also quoth nevermore.

It could, however, that the crows are letting their murder mates know that a fox is near. I hate nature.

2 thoughts on “Quoth the Raven

  1. You don’t hate nature. You heartily dislike crows. I wonder why they prefer your neck of the woods,

  2. I don’t have crows, but I have pigeons. They aren’t terribly loud but I find them horribly annoying.

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