Tuesday, June 17, 2014


A little offshoot of my recent sickness was my proximity with the feathered species. My husband spends a good ten minutes at least a couple of times on our adjoining terrace but my visits there are work-related and hence brief! It was when I was recovering from Chickenpox that I spent a good thirty minutes every evening on the terrace - enjoying the kiss and caress of the cool breeze as I let my gaze linger at the surrounding trees and the kids playing cricket / football on the ground beyond. 
One day, I stood by the railing looking around. Suddenly a crow flew down to our railing and stood there - at arm's length - staring at me and agitatedly cawing out loud. I tried to shoo him away but he wasn't deterred. The audacious crow didn't bother to budge even though I stood so close to him. He seemed to be making a conversation with me - and mind you, it was far from polite! He seemed to be chiding me for God-knows-what! Finally it was I who retreated to sit on my chair. With a loud caw of victory he flew off!

I narrated this to my husband later. He told me he had had the same experience not once but every day for the past one week - when a crow would swoop down to almost peck at his bald head whenever he stood near the railing. He explained there was a nest on one of the trees closest to our terrace. I went to have a look and promptly faced a near-attack from the black bird. Oh yes, it was there - a nest - with a crow (the mommy, in all probability) sitting pretty - obviously protecting her eggs zealously. I sneaked up intermittently (fearing the crow-attack) to catch a glimpse of the eggs in the nest. After several failed attempts I did succeed - even as the tree was swaying on a breezy evening - to get a fleeting glimpse of three grey eggs sitting cozily in the nest as mommy crow was perched on a nearby branch. I ran in to fetch the camera and noiselessly took my position close to the railing, zoomed and clicked quickly. The pa-crow swooped in menacingly at the camera. I didn't want any harm to my camera, so I retreated - satisfied with the whatever glimpses and clicks.

We waited for the eggs to hatch - as three weeks went by. One fine day, we could see pink V-shaped mouths open wide even as the mother sat nearby - we were mighty thrilled as if we had had an addition to our family. But it seemed as if the crows couldn't tolerate our participation in their joy. I think they found us to be the closest non-feathered-species around - the pedestrians were farther from the nest than us as took our position on the terrace. We were a potential threat and that was why pa-crow would come noisily to chase us away from our own terrace. It was a Herculean task taking a picture, leave alone a short video.Both parents were so vigilant 24 x 7 - all the time hovering around the nest. The crows seemed to watch their eggs with hawk-eyes! It was really a revelation to us that our feathered friends were so attached and concerned about their eggs / young ones - even more than us human beings - perhaps!

The fledglings are into their fourth week now and in spite of the continuing protective care of their parents, they are getting to be more independent. We are still allowed only fleeting glimpses, thanks or no thanks to the zealously possessive and unreasonably over-protective parent-crows!

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