|After stuffing on leftover bread, a squirrel relaxes in the sun|
|Woodpeckers also love "fast-food" bread|
Farmers, especially those who grow corn, often regard crows as nemeses, but I admire these intelligent birds. Several years ago, I planted sweet corn seeds I purchased from a local source and, in another area, I planted heirloom corn seeds I ordered from an online store. As soon as the tender seedlings emerged from the ground, crows descended and pulled every last heirloom plant, but ignored the other field. It was one of my first lessons in judging which plants are the tastiest and most nutritious. Did I really want to eat something a crow would not touch? Since that season, I only grow heirloom corn and I take some pretty drastic measures to deter hungry crows from eating my plants before they have a chance to produce.
|Whirling pinwheels deter hungry crows|
Because I admire her intelligence and her tenacity, I feed the crow. Maybe because there is a good supply of other food this year, she is now a picky eater. Last year, she gobbled white sandwich bread, but this winter, she disdainfully looks at it and screeches for something with more substance. I can't blame her, but her preferences are more expensive than white bread. Croissants, homemade biscuits or cornbread are her current favorites. After eating a few bites, she gathers as much as she can carry and flies away to eat, or possibly share, the rest. Maybe there's another lesson there?