The beautiful baby crow who stepped up calmly onto my hand and looked around, spoke to me in quiet baby crow sounds, and pooped politely away from my arm or head.
It was the end of the night, the end of a long day for many people at the TWC. I had changed from my scrubs to street clothes. As I was leaving, I walked by ICU when two of the nursery volunteers, a woman and a young man, were holding a black bird perched on their hand. I stopped outside the room and watched a moment. It being ICU, I didn’t want to disturb them or any other the other patients in the room. But she generously beckoned me in, crow sitting on the back of her upstretched hand.
It turned out to be a beautiful baby crow, calm and happy in peoples presence, with light blue eyes and a sweet yumyumyumyum sound when the young man fed her by taking bits of fish or fruit in his fingers, showing it to her and when she put her head back and opened her beak, placing the food deeply in her beak. Yumyumyumyum. Then preening her feathers.
I would have not known it was a baby, no fledgling fluff here, just shiny black feathers with white downy under-feathers. When the nursery volunteer asked me if I wanted to hold the baby crow, of course I said yes please! I just held my hand up to its chest and it calmly stepped up onto my hand.
This crow had been hand-raised in captivity. That is why it was so calm and comfortable stepping up onto a person’s hand. We quietly chatted with each other and the baby crow for a few minutes, talking of how smart they are, the differences between crows and ravens, how crows can use tools and get people to drive over nuts to crack them open, and generally marveling and admiring this beautiful baby.
The crow then decided to sit for a while on the woman volunteer’s head, calm and happy the whole time. It was only when it came time to put it into its enclosure that it squawked and flapped bit. I don’t blame it, as I would too. What a special moment at the end of the night.