Attack of the NW Crow

The following story was stolen from Karen Ottenbright of Bird TLC.

It all started the way is most bird things start at Bird TLC, with a phone call. It seems there was a crow that "attacked" a little girl on Kodiak. The story went that a little girl ventured out to her family's mailbox and a black bird landed, squawking, on her head. The girl ran crying into the house, where her father went out to see the cause of the ruckus. Finding the black bird on the mailbox, squawking loudly at him, he waved his arm to shoo the strange bird away. The bird responded by jumping onto his arm then climbed to his shoulder. Upon getting comfortable, the bird crooned and nibbled on his ear. Immediately the man knew something was definitely not normal with this bird.

A few days later, the crow (a Northwest Crow) found itself in Anchorage at Bird TLC where he/she has managed to charm just about everyone that has come in contact with him. Quite obviously humans had raised the bird from a very early age. The young flighted bird either got away or the well intentioned people attempted to return it to the wild. Either way, the bird now dubbed "Kodiak" was ill equipped to survive in the wild. It turned to the only source of food it new... people.

Corvids (crows, ravens, magpies and jays) present a special problem for Bird TLC and other wild bird rehabbers. They, unlike most other wild birds, are very social animals. Family structure is very important to their well being. Young ravens that have spent time at the clinic generally finish up their convalescence with adult non-releasable ravens. These adults help "wild up" the juveniles., helping to prepare them for life back in the wild. This may sound odd, but it is true. Ravens and crows especially, must learn social behavior, rules, vocalizations and other etiquette from other birds of their kind. From their family and peers they learn what to eat, where they can find it and what may present a danger to them. Even if we did have adult crows for Kodiak to spend time with, it is unlikely that they would manage to "wild him up" again. This little fellow or gal firmly believes it's a person with a beak.