Image from Audubon Portland
Urban crows can be bold, as I discovered today while enjoying a coffee on the balcony of the Art Gallery.
One landed, then stepped along the edge of the marble table with his flexible scaly feet, stretched his beak and squawked.
The last time I was that close to a crow was twenty years ago, when one swooped down to a balcony table and stole my three-year-old daughter's bun. "Bad bird!" she scolded.
This one turned his glossy black head to the side and fixed me with a beady eye. When the waiter came to clear, he said the birds were attracted by the food. "There isn't much for them to eat in the city."
"They could fly down to Stanley Park," I suggested, "It's not far."
"They like it here," he answered. "They recognize a good thing."
Later, walking by The Bay, the oldest downtown department store, I happened to look up. In each corner of the square boxy building stands a tall metal post with some sort of ball-like contraption on top.
I have no idea what those are for, but the gulls know. There were two of them up there, one on the very top of each post. Their heads were moving like radar, taking in the view.
A couple of weeks ago I saw a tiny city songbird eye to eye in a tree, and today, the urban crow and two gulls.
Maybe for me it's the year of the urban bird.