November 10 2012. I spent the morning helping to pull non-native, invasive trees from the supposedly natural areas of our botanical garden. It was a good work-out and by noon I was done. As we left the clamour of a group of American Crows erupted from a few hundred yards to the west, it was as if they’d suddenly been deeply offended. Moments later they flew towards us and then noisily circled the top of some nearby White Pines. With this the gang quite appropriately lived up to their collective noun, a ‘Murder of Crows’; something had their attention and they wanted revenge. I suspected a roosting owl, for crows are notorious for mobbing or harassing them for no better reason than owls often kill crows while they sleep, which I suppose is a fair motive. But I wondered, do crows spend all day looking for opportunities to take their revenge? After all they’d managed to pinpoint this one from quite far away.
Moments passed and then they took off in clamorous pursuit of a Great-horned Owl, the large, round-winged owl flapping sedately as if just a little exasperated by all the needless noise and fuss, and hoping for somewhere more peaceful.