05/20/2014 at 5:41 pm #66773
The birds group is low traffic, so I’m posting this here…
We have a core group of 5-6 crows that regularly hang out near our house, usually in the front. I occasionally toss them peanuts (in shell). However, they (at least 3 of the group I can identify) have recently started doing something I’ve never seen before. They take the peanut and drop it in one of the 2 bird baths we have in the backyard. The peanut is allowed to soak in the water for a while then it is shelled and the peanuts broken up into small pieces which sit in the bottom of the birdbath. The crows always discard the shells and skins. I’ve not seen any crows re-visit the birdbath to eat the “soup” they are making. Or maybe they are making some peanut liquor?
Wondering if anyone here has seen this, or can explain it.05/20/2014 at 6:03 pm #66778
They are soaking the shell to get at the actual peanuts. Mine do the same, but they toss the shells on the patio, then eat the peanuts. If yours are leaving the peanut pieces in the water, then, yes that is weird :-)
Edit: we feed ours every day, so the stuff that they wash creates a goop immediately. They won’t wash anything else until I have changed the water.05/20/2014 at 6:34 pm #66791
The is very interesting behavior. Our neighborhood crows will pick at the shells and eat the peanuts out. We don’t have a bird bath but I wonder if they’d start doing that if we got one. Hmmmm05/20/2014 at 8:06 pm #66792
Our crows “wash” everything in the bird bath before eating it. Sometimes though, they bury the food in the garden instead of eating it. They don’t do that if too many other crows are around. Must be hiding it for later.05/20/2014 at 8:36 pm #66793
jburgh- are your peanuts salted or unsalted?05/21/2014 at 6:17 am #66805
I wouldn’t be surprised if they were soaking them for the nestlings. They probably figured out that moist peanuts are easier to digest. Or easier to store in their crop.
That, or they are so glutted with food, they have no sense of urgency to consume the food they find, and can interrupt the activity and come back to it.
My hypotheses are many. Please keep us posted on your observations.05/21/2014 at 7:49 am #66806
VB – the peanuts are unsalted. Usually the crows will peck them apart and eat the peanuts right there in the driveway. Occasionally I see them stash one in the front garden. But this soaking behavior just started a couple of weeks ago. The theory that they are soaking them for youngsters makes sense, but the broken pieces are left to “stew” in the birdbath. As soon as I clean out the birdbath, another crow comes along and repeats the behavior. If the peanut was washed then eaten, it wouldn’t be so baffling. Maybe they are glutted. Thanks for the replies.05/21/2014 at 8:07 am #66810
jburgh – I think biophile has a point about them being “glutted with food” there is probably so much food here in Ballard for the birds that they are “playing” with the excess!05/21/2014 at 8:31 am #66815
jburgh – I have had same issue for couple of years. Have found half loaf of french bread, Twix candy wrappers, fruit, etc. My fountain is solar powered so these foods gum up the workings so not too keen on that. So far only thing I’ve seen in it was a tiny little bird taking a bath…too cute.
For a few years had this crow that was hanging around. I don’t know where it hung out but as soon as I was outside here it would come & watch. If I was barbequeing I had to stay right there or it would come and steal food. (once took stick of butter & left it on neighbor’s garage roof!). Once I was sitting in chaise eating some potato chips. Realized going to be late for appointment. I looked around for crow. Didn’t see it anywhere. So I put the bag under TWO pillows, a throw and when I came home from appointment there was the empty bag on the ground all pecked open. They are smart birds but can be a pain in the ars.05/21/2014 at 8:39 am #66817
Once when we were camping along the coast, we kept seeing ravens flying with large white things in their beaks. We went to investigate and found they were coming from a neighboring campsite, where they had broken into a bag of marshmallows on the table. They had nabbed about half the bag. We were standing there watching and laughing and the people from that campsite came back. I felt a little guilty that we didn’t shoo them away but it really was funny watching a gang of ravens stealing marshmallows.05/21/2014 at 8:44 am #66819
quoth the raven, “have a smore”05/21/2014 at 10:22 am #66827
Good one, great idea!05/21/2014 at 12:35 pm #66840
Played golf a few times at Ft Ord Bayonet course, crows were so bold there as to take a newly purchased sandwich right out of your hand if you weren’t watching them. Leave it on the cart seat and it was gone in a split second! Friend of mine got pecked about the head & arms once by a really hungry guy.05/21/2014 at 4:47 pm #66913
Gracie – I think I have one of your crow’s relatives. This afternoon, I checked the birdbath and found a large hunk of french bread. I do enjoy their antics. We have one that waits for me to get home from work. He/she flies down from the telephone wire and greets me on the roof overhang. This crow has been doing this for 3 years, I recognize his dodgy foot.05/22/2014 at 10:22 am #66933
If you live on Sunset Hill, does sound like you have a relative. Caught one in the act when I got home last night – there it was on my fountain but turned out was just drinking water. That explains why water level kept going down all the time.
And sure enough, this morning I come out to go to car and here it comes. Lands on my roof and looking down like “food?”
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