I was a witness.
So was my son.
Both of our kids have had a hard time adjusting to the time change, so we've been getting up a little early. Henry and I were walking the dog the other day just before 6.
It rained the night before. It was still pretty dark and gloomy with a low ceiling of clouds.
As we got closer to the harbour, we heard a terrible racket. It was coming from inside a small grove of tall trees by the water.
We were probably 50-meters away before we could discern individual caws. I have never seen/heard so many crows in one place before.
There must have been thousands. The sound of their screams echoed against the wet pavement. Henry was fascinated, but a little afraid.
The funny thing is, I know crows are solitary birds. They're social animals, to be sure. But other than their mate, they really don't like hanging out with other crows. They tend to get violent with those who crowd their territory.
There are exceptions. Crows' hatred of birds of prey (most often ospreys and owls) trumps their solitary nature. Once one is spotted (especially owls, they hate those guys), a crow can send out a "caw to arms" that will bring in all of his or her neighbours to chase and attack the invader.
It can be pretty spectacular. Crows are as vicious as they are intelligent.
I don't think this was the case here. Unless there was a particularly stubborn owl they had happened upon.
The crowd started breaking up about 20-minutes later. Even after it had dwindled to a couple of dozen, we kept our distance.
I really wish I knew what was going on. Thoughts?