This year the crows are back, after having been *gone* for the past 2 years. I'm talking about the BIG ones. Maybe 16-18" tall, walk around with their arms behind their backs (not unlike Groucho Marx) like they are assessing everything. And talkin that shit. Loudly. VERY loudly. Easily the loudest birds in the forest, drowning out even the pileateds.
They are alert, watching each others backs, and they will see you before you see them. They keep their distance from you, at least 50 feet or more. Get closer than that and they take flight. Fraidy cats.
Crows is curious creatures, maybe an indication of higher intelligence. Oops. Did I just infer they could be human? OMG, you know what that means!
All black. Body. Beak. Legs. Eyes. Black to the core. And picky assed eaters. The other birds anxiously eat from the smorgasboard that is delivered daily but the crows are better'n that, so they think. I've seen a crow pick up a sunflower seed and throw it back down in disgust then run it's yap for a bit then come back and pick it up again and head of to a high limb somewhere to enjoy that tasty snack.
6am to 8am is their *staying connected* time around here. Fortunately we are early risers so we are not unduly bothered by their group tirades. I find them humorous and enjoy watching them from afar. If I stay perfectly still on the porch they get closer for better viewing and they are magnificent creatures.
They have a purpose. The crows do the jobs others don't want to do. If a squirrel gets splattered on the road the crows are right there disposing of it. Nice. Then I don't have to shovel scoop it up and dig a hole. They peck at it til it's skin and bones, then the rest just magically disappears. Do they carry it into the woods? I've never seen a squirrel carcass in the woods. Do the crows eat the fur and bones? Don't know.
As I said, the crows are the BIG variety. If they had a mind to, I imagine a group of 10 or more could most certainly take out a grown person. The beaks and claws look quite diabolical. At a full speed low angle dive I believe a 2" black chisel beak would leave a deep permanent scar and maybe a trip to the ER. 10 of them punctures in rapid succession and you may succumb.
Then in a bit they will have picked you clean. And maybe we'll find out what happens to the carcasses.....
Here in w Texas we have summer and the rest of the year. It's now summer. Last week it was above 105 almost every day. It lasts until late Sept. Then it's beautiful.
Not 6,000' CO mountain beautiful but you do 4 months in the 105-115 range and Oct & on sure is nice.
Here in the Sonoran Desert,we get Boat-Tailed Grackles. They've been migrating north from Mexico for 40 yrs or so. The males are 15-17" stem to stern,shiny iridescent black with round golden eyes. They like to strut around the lawn,pecking at bugs etc. When they spot a drab brown female,the mating dance begins:feathers fluffed out to double body size,head bobbing up & down,mouth open wide shrieking "HEY! Look at ME" as he hops around her. They like to roost in flocks in tall trees and greet the morning with loud shrieks & whistles,makes quite the cacophony.
As for the lazy,crazy days of summer,well,here in sunny AZ we're about to enjoy 118 degrees Fahrenheit today,120 Tuesday. That oughta keep the grackles quiet,at least in the afternoon.
ghosniper, there's a cure for those bastards.
.22 LR ammo with a sighted-in rifle and a shot to the head.
Off a few and the rest will do clean-up duty.
Do it often enough (2-3 days seems to be the magic number) and they will find new turf to terrorize.
Plus you get free range practice.
@Nori, but, its a dry heat. (I hate those birds, they steal nests)
We Eastern Canadians are similar to the New Yorkers in our constant observations on weather, particularly winter weather. I once read a newspaper piece that was so Canadian, I wish I'd cut it out and saved it. The writer described car drives at night in the winter, where everyone looked out for those lighted boards on buildings that display the current time and temperature. There would be much discussion over the variations in these readouts. It was generally agreed that the coldest reading had to be the correct one, and anything warmer was probably caused by some proximity to electric lights.
And the best thing was to have a visitor from California over in the winter. He'd be regaled with daily pronouncements about how cold it was outside, especially if there was a windchill; "It's so cold outside, your EYEBALLS will freeze!" And the hapless American would reply, "You must be crazy to live here!" and the Canadians would just smile with satisfaction.
@Leslie "Its a dry heat."
I'm here to tell you that that line works all the way to 105° or so. After that, it is hot....real hot. Today at the airport a mile from my house, they reported that the temp. topped out at 114.8°, and at dinner tonight the thermometer in Mrs. Azlib's car showed 120° over an asphalt parking lot. The forecast for tomorrow will beat today's record: 118°.
Mind you, I'm not complaining. The heat keeps out the riff-raff.
Oh, I meant to add....I know I shouldn't, but I hate those grackles.
I know, @Azlibertairian, I was in the thick of it. It tapped out at 119 at my house. I get all my work done before 8am. It is actually quite pleasant about 5:30 am.
My Dad hated the grackles too. Anytime he would go outside to grill,several of them would swoop down to do their poop dance on his spotless patio-the rest of the flock whistling & catcalling from the trees. He called AZ Game & Fish to see if they had a solution to pest birds and was advised,no,you can't shoot them. But for $600.00 they would send out an ornithologist to offer less drastic ideas.
The look on his face as he related this to me remains a cherished memory.
Grackles belong in that "Field Guide to Dumb Birds" Gerard posted awhile back. Call 'em F**k-Tailed Snarkles.
Today in Phoenix, it's supposed to be 120 degrees. Which means it well over 120 degrees on the tarmac at Sky Harbor airport. Certain jets will not be able to get sufficient lift from the thin overheated air to take off, so many flights between 3 and 6 will be cancelled. That means it will be too hot to use the airport today
I'll be spending the afternoon biting my fingernails as I monitor the 30 minute cooling intervals and wondering if my HVAC is going to die on me. And you folks are complaining about heat? Pikers
Yeah, I saw this on the thermometer of my 18 year-old truck (which probably wasn't all that accurate even when it was new), but I saw 122° this afternoon. It was way hot.