Friends Erik and Pat Fagerland came over late yesterday afternoon – Erik to clean out our chicken coop and Pat ‘along for the ride.’ I think it’s the third voluntary coop cleanout that Erik’s done since Nyel has been listed in the crippled column. To say we are in his debt is not even close.
Pat and I were just beginning our catch-up visiting when Erik was back at the house telling Pat there was a crow trapped in the chicken run. Pat’s artwork has featured crows for years and Erik knew she’d be out there in a flash with her camera. I was right behind her.
The crow, small enough that we thought he might be a juvenile (and, therefore, not yet worldly-wise), had apparently flown into the run when the gate was wide open. Nyel had not thought to prop it open when he made the food and water delivery in the early a.m. Then came the wind with predictable results: crow in; chickens out.
Though I was only two steps behind, Pat was already snapping photos by the time I approached. I chose to go inside the run with the intruder, knowing that pictures taken through that chicken wire are not always optimum. The crow considered me closely, did a few fly-bys and then settled down to pose this way and that on the chicken’s outdoor roost.
He (or she) continued to cooperate with Pat after she and I exchanged places but when the photographic session was over and Erik opened the gate wide, there was no hesitation on the crow’s part. He was out of there. We all wondered if he had learned his lesson or if tempting bits of overlooked chicken feed would lure him in again sometime.
Meanwhile, the girls had gathered under a nearby rhododendron to watch the proceedings. No telling how long they had been closed out – it had been windy all day long. There was a single egg in one of the nest boxes but no way of telling if it had been laid early in the morning or later in the afternoon. Perhaps, as sometimes happens, it was the only one for the day. Or, perhaps, there were one or two others placed strategically in the garden when the nest boxes couldn’t be accessed.
We’ll probably never know, just as we’ll probably never know if that crow is a particular friend of the girls and visits often. Somehow, I suspect that it was not his first foray into our chicken run… and he didn’t seem traumatized enough to make it his last.