An unexpected friendship

IMG_1618.jpg
Meet Bo, a wild American Crow who lives in Portland, Oregon, USA. Bo is male. He is likely about two years old. He has a mate I call Lorena, who is currently nesting. But enough of the crow profile info. I'm sure what you really want to know is:
How the heck did I get a wild crow to stand on my head??
Well, to tell the truth, it was all Bo's idea. But here's the story.

IT STARTED WITH HEAD TAPS

Well, actually, it started with peanuts and almonds and dog treats, but head taps came next. Head taps are what bold crows will do to a person who is a known feeder. It's a way for them to get the person's attention. Like saying, "hey, it's me, the crow you feed, got any peanuts?" Some crows aren't brave enough to touch the person, but might still swoop low over the person's head.

BO WAS VERY CURIOUS ABOUT US.

And he wasn't afraid of Pilot at all!

Bo's fearlessness made me wonder if I could get him to eat from my hand. It took a couple weeks for him to feel safe, but... eventually...

WE BONDED OVER A PEANUT

THE PEANUT EXCHANGE BECAME OUR RITUAL FOR A WHILE

20210419_061659971_iOS.png
AND BO STARTED COMING CLOSER
20210419_061736248_iOS.png
AND THE HEAD TAPS TURNED INTO A GAME

20210419_062928191_iOS.png
IN WHICH BO WOULD FLY OVER
20210419_062128597_iOS.png
AND BOUNCE OFF MY HEAD

20210419_062156078_iOS.png

EATING OUT OF MY HAND BECAME LESS SCARY

AND BO BECAME BOSSY EVEN COMING TO MY WINDOW WHILE I WAS WORKING TO DEMAND PEANUTS

And then on one particularly wet and dreary day while I was feeling depressed by the pandemic and the never-ending injustices and tragedies, Bo landed on my head. But this time he didn't jump off. He stayed on for a few seconds, and in those few seconds, all was right in the world. I didn't get a picture of that first time, or even the second or third or fifth or tenth, because those moments were so precious and all I wanted to do was be present. I also needed to build Bo's trust to get him to keep standing on my head long enough to get a video, so I started to feed him while he was up there.

And now he does it all the time.

I've had people ask me how I trained him to do it. I've had people call me the crow whisperer. The impressions people have of me are flattering, and maybe true to some extent, but the truth is, I never trained Bo. This was all his idea. He's brilliant, really. He found a reliable food source that keeps him safe from predators and free from competition. He is much more the human whisperer than I am the crow whisperer.

People ask me if it's love. I would like to think so. But I'll let you be the judge of that:
H2
H3
H4
3 columns
2 columns
1 column
1 Comment