Fully-trained human…

Yes, I am a fully trained-human. The crows have me trained. I started feeding them on a regular basis a few months back. I put bread out on my porch and they take it. I did this daily for a few weeks. Its fun for me, I know, I am a geek. At any rate, I discovered the crows prefer peanuts to bread and so I switched to leaving gobs of peanuts every morning on my porch. There has been a learning curve here but not for the birds, for me.

They caw, then wait for their peanuts. This is a daily routine.

(Pictures deleted)
Lesson 1 in the crows training program was teaching me their preferential diet. I learned they preferred peanuts over bread. They would leave the bread for last and gobble up the peanuts like they were going out of style.

Lesson 1 (a): Neighbors do not appreciate when you leave peanuts (or bread) on the shared walkway/porch. They get angry and show this anger in passive-aggressive ways, such as sweeping aggressively outside your door while hitting it repeatedly and forcefully with each stroke. Then later opening the door quickly trying to “catch” you feeding the birds, only to smile and shut their door calmly as if it doesn’t matter, never saying anything to you. I learned it was better to place the peanuts (and/or bread) on the ledge of the porch, rather than the walkway, and sweep up the mess after every feeding.

Lesson 2: Scheduled feedings. I have an irregular schedule. The birds…not so much. It just so happened that I would feed the birds in the morning when everyone left. It was a fluke really, not intended to create a pattern. The birds thought otherwise. One day I forgot to put peanuts out and they began cawwing. How cute. =) It reminded me to put the peanuts out, and so I did. A few days go by, I remember to feed them, no problem. Then, I fell asleep on my couch one morning and did not put peanuts out for them, oops. They tried to cawww outside my door but I was too sleepy. I thought to myself, “self, they can wait.” This didn’t go over very well with the crows. They cawwed and cawwed for about a half hour. Then they decided to take it a step further. They went onto the roof and to my chimney and started cawwing down it. It echoed down my unused fireplace and throughout my acoustically-amplified apartment. They were determined to get me to feed them. And I did.

And now I am officially trained. They know how to get me to feed them and do so on a regular basis, much to the chagrin of my neighbors. =/ Oops.

I think a peanut dispenser is the logical next step for us, the birds and me. Any suggestions on how I can train them?

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5 Responses to “Fully-trained human…”

  1. Rupert Says:

    I sat and watched a pair of magpies once, they were on the roof opposite and were taking it in turns to use the roof as a slide. First one would slide down, stop at the guttering and then hop fly back to the top. Once there ther other one would repeat the process. I watched for ages as they just enjoyed their fun.

    I guess this is the same there, but have you noticed song birds mimicing car alarms? They do it here, or rather they did untill the alarms got more sophisticated and stopped going off every two seconds.

    A spot of music you may like
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zLTG3Vn7MN0

  2. Meg Says:

    The video is distracting. Hahaha… the song was ok. Thanks for sharing. =) The crows I feed do not mimic car alarms but I have heard that magpies do elsewhere. I haven’t spent much time around the local magpies to know if they do but I imagine they do. =)

  3. Terence Says:

    LOL! That is a great story!

    I would advise against a Peanut Dispenser. They will figure out how to empty it, and you will have to refill it every day. In effect, it will become just another piece of uselessness…

  4. Meg Says:

    Terence,

    I already feed them everyday. It would be pretty much the same but I’d be getting them to do things. =)

  5. Terence Says:

    Hmm, with that thought maybe you can get a multi-dispenser and ‘prime’ each dish with different foods. They might like peanuts more than bread, but maybe they like something like blueberries more than peanuts. Or maybe some will prefer peanuts and others would prefer blueberries.

    Just some thoughts.

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