With a brutal winter wind howling outside and temperatures well below freezing it feels good to sit here in a warm house working on photographs from my Florida visit. The crow is not a particularly spectacular bird. The crow doesn't exhibit colorful breeding plumage, it doesn't posses a graceful charm but what the crow lacks in beauty it more than makes up for it with it's incredible intelligence.
Crows have learned to adapt to nearly all habitats and have adapted extremely well to the environmental changes made by humans. The crow is at home in the wilderness, rural fields and woodlands as well as in our cities. With a lifespan that can reach 30 years the crow can acquire significant learning as well as pass this learning on to its offspring.
In my earlier years I found crows to be a very challenging target for my varmint rifles. When a crow presented an opportunity or a shot ones accuracy needed to be dead on for though the crow appears large just take away the feathers and the body is not much larger than a fully feathered robin. A bullet passing through the crow's feathers was a lesson learned and that crow and its acquaintances would be more careful with their next human encounter.
I remember well seeing crows and attempting to get a shot when at the last moment the crows would fly away. But in the same situation at another time without the rifle and the crows would scarecly pay attention to my presence. There is now doubt in my mind that the crows recognized the rifle and understood what a human with a gun could do.
Crows in our area are for the most part wary. Although I haven't shot one in many a year folks around here still do. It wasn't until I visited Joe Overstreet in central Florida that I had the opportunity to photograph a crow so up close and personal in a rural setting. This crow was so close you can even see its eye blink!