Friday, 18 March 2011


There are few things I find more tragic than a bird that can no longer fly. For some reason the loss of that freedom that I so crave myself seems particularly sad. On my way to a job in Darras Hall this week I've noticed a Crow that was always on the verge near the roundabout at the end of Rotary Way. Clearly having a damaged wing it seems to have decided that this area is where an existence can be sustained.

This afternoon I watched for twenty minutes as it walked around its small patch of grass tossing up leaves and clearly finding a fair amount of food. The area is probably quite good as there is no path nearby, a bit of hedge cover and is not conducive to dog walking due to the passing traffic to which the bird seems quite unconcerned.

At one stage I got out of the car to approach the bird but thought better of it as I forced it closer and closer to the speeding cars. I have had a couple of other experiences of flightless corvids and it seems they can cope with the situation quite well. The first was a pair of Jackdaws a few years back where the female was seen to stand by and help a flightless male partner. Perhaps this was just a strong pair bond or could it be more social than that.

A few weeks a go a friend brought me a first winter Jackdaw with a clearly broken wing asking if there was anything that could be done. My limited knowledge led me to conclude there was nothing and I tend to think that any damaged birds taken to Vets or the RSPCA may be taken in but are likely rapidly dispatched. Rather than killing the creature which didn't exhibit signs of distress, pain or bleeding I suggested he return it to the area where he found it and just check that the bird had space to feed, was not trapped and was not being attacked by its own kind.

I don't know how it got on but I hope the Jackdaw community took it in or that it met a rapid and more natural end. Is this sentimentality, lack of responsibilty or hopeless optimism?

1 comment:

  1. I agree with everything you say Peter. As long as the poor creature will not suffer a slow, painful or lingering death let it live. We all meet our maker soon enough.