Baby Crows Swarm Their Rescuer At Breakfast Time
These crows are orphaned babies, being raised by a veterinarian and her family. They are ravenous birds and feeding times are extremely noisy. The doctor’s son, Cameron is about to demonstrate what mornings are like at his house when there are four screaming mouths to feed. Not only noisy, but hectic, feeding times are fast paced to keep these demanding little birds happy.
This story began when a nest full of baby crows fell out of a tree, in Millbrook, Ontario, Canada. The man who found them tried to put them back. He knew that they had their best chance of survival with the parents. But as time went on, the parents came nowhere near the nest and it appeared that they had been abandoned. He called Dr. Kristy Hiltz, who lived nearby and she sent her husband to hide in the trees where he could watch for the parents. He found a sheltered spot a good distance away and watched. The babies’ cries became louder and it was obvious that they were starving. As it began to get dark, it was clear that human intervention was their only chance. This is a last resort because attempting to raise any wild animals, especially birds, is often unsuccessful.
The birds were brought home and the entire family shared the job of keeping them fed. They demanded food every few hours, even through the night. After 3 weeks, they had learned to fly and they spent their nights in the trees outside. But each morning, shortly after sunrise, they were waiting for breakfast. They were fed turkey mash, dog food, corn, berries, worms, and other foods. The easiest way to get them to eat was to use chopsticks, and they lined up on the porch railing with their mouths open as all baby birds do. Amazingly, the birds learned to say hello, and they began to announce their arrival with this clearly spoken word. They would also say it in response to being spoken to. They were named Baby Fred, Adventure Fred, Crow Magnon, and Russell Crow.
Eventually, these crows became more independent and they were taught to find their own food. By the end of the summer, they had been adopted by the wild crows in their neighborhood, and they returned less and less for food. When the cold weather arrived, they flew south, along with the other crows in the area. But in the spring, one of them came back and landed on a tree near Kristy’s husband. It took food from him but it was far from tame. It also said “hello” after landing in the yard. Occasionally that summer, two crows came at the same time and said “hello”. They have even appeared at the family’s back yard bird feeder and have been filmed saying “hello” to the squirrels. It’s impossible to know if they are all still alive because their leg bands have broken off, but hearing two speaking at once tells Kristy and her family that at least two are still doing well.
These crows were a joy to raise and the family was very sorry to see them leave and become wild, but there is no greater joy than seeing a wild animal return to the life that nature intended. 2