Thursday, June 25, 2009

Life With Boopo*

Meet Boopo. He's our new yard guest. He's an immature crow that seems to be hurt.

Last Saturday I was watching some crows that have been hanging around. They were eating stuff they'd found on the sidewalk across the street. Suddenly a crow comes flying down, lands next to one of them and starts flapping his wings with his mouth open towards one of the bigger crows. The bigger crow stuffs something in his mouth and the two bigger crows fly away.

The smaller crow didn't leave and ended up limping around, eventually taking up residence on the front stairway of the Matteoli's house. I went over to take a closer look and he wouldn't fly away. He just limped around like his right foot was broken.

Next morning he was still there but had moved to the lawn and shrub area to the side of the stairway. I'd left some crackers for it to eat but it seemed the bigger crows were its parents and occasionally, after he'd call out and make a fuss, one of the bigger crows would come down and stuff something in his mouth.

Connie went over and put a plastic container of water near him and I was surprised to see him drink from it. We could see other people had thrown pieces of bread on the lawn to feed him, as well. But this isn't a good place for him to be hanging out as he'd be easy prey for cats and dogs, never mind the raccoons, possums and skunks that frequent the area.

Nevertheless, Monday morning he was still there and was either sitting under the bushes or on the lawn. He'd survived two days in a not particularly safe spot. I thought that was about to end later on Monday afternoon when a young kid came by on a bicycle and noticed the bird sitting on the lawn.

He gets off his bike and runs over to the crow to catch him. The bird runs off as best he can with his apparent broken leg, flapping his wings. He actually outruns the kid, but ends up out in the middle of Trinity Street next to E Street. He stops for a second and the kid bends down to try and pet him. Just as his hand is about 6 inches away, the bird takes off again into the middle of E street.

Yikes! The bird stops right where the left wheel of most vehicles heading south go. I figure no way the bird won't get squished as many people won't stop for people, much less animals. I was surprised to see the ten or so vehicles that drove by actually drive around the bird.

I got there and kind of guided the bird back to the Matteoli's yard and told to kid not to chase the bird as it was injured and he could of gotten run over. The kid left.

We ended up calling the Wildlife Care Center later on, leaving a message. They called back and said it was likely just a fledgling that need some more time to be able to fly and take care of itself and we should just let the parents take care of it. Ok.

Tuesday morning I saw him still across the street but then lost track of him. When I go out to load up my truck, there he is in our yard! He was sitting on a pile of wood and would have had to fly across the street to get there (why won't he fly home?). He pretty much stayed in that same area for over a day. We gave him water and put some food out so his parents would have something to feed him, assuming they don't give up on him.

We called the Wildlife Care Center again Wednesday afternoon. The girl came out later on and took a look. She caught him and said he was a bit skinny and she wasn't sure they could do much for him if she took him in to their clinic but she'd ask her associate about it.

This morning he seems to have started moving north. He was sitting in our driveway when Connie went to check on him. Then he started moving around the side of our house towards the back yard. Connie went around back and chased him towards the front as we have two cats that hang in our back yard.

Now it's in our next door neighbor's front yard. I get the impression the crows roost at night somewhere to the north as that's where they seem to go with their food. Might this fellow be trying to work his way back home? I don't know but I'm surprised he's survived all the hazards around here for so long.
* Is it spelled Bupo or Boopo? That's the name I gave the bird. It's the name of that robotic owl in the old classic fantasy movie Clash of the Titans.


At 9:37 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are a sweet man Fred.

At 10:07 AM, Blogger Carol said...

I agree. The bird is lucky to have you and Connie looking out for him.

At 11:48 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Q: What's the difference between a Crow and a Raven?

A: There's more dark meat on a Raven.

Oh forgive me Lord. That was uncalled for.

At 2:53 PM, Blogger Fred said...

You make light of it, but I have a rough time telling the difference between ravens and crows. I know ravens are quite a bit bigger than crows, but that's about it. I think these are crows, but every now and then I look at the parents and they seem pretty big and I wonder if they're ravens.

Nah. They're crows.

At 7:19 PM, Blogger Carol said...

I thought ravens were more solitary and crows were more social and flock together.

At 8:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Raven - round tail

Crow - square tail

At 6:30 AM, Blogger Fred said...

I checked one of my bird books yesterday and it said ravens can often be seen in large flocks.

At 9:20 AM, Blogger Carol said...


When I was a kid, one of my neighbors had a pet crow named, Gertrude. Gertrude learned to talk. She would announce to the neighborhood everytime the school bus was arriving by shouting, "Bus 4".

At 9:51 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

In central Eureka those are mostly ravens and that photo looks like a raven to me, due to the big bill.

At 10:13 AM, Blogger Fred said...

I was looking at the wings of one of the big ones yesterday and think you may be right.

Looks like bupo moved on. He moved back across the street next door to the Matteoli's, back to next door to me and then I don't know where he went but I saw his parents sitting together squawking on the telephone lines down the street so I'm guessing he went down the street somewhere.


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