Normally in July, my husband and I watch the fireworks show at Emerald Downs Horsing Racing Field. This year has been strange. We sat in our car to watch the fireworks when loud, noisy calls sounded from the fir trees. Every branch of the fir trees was covered in crows. This was creepy like the movie, The Birds.

I turned to my husband and said, “I’m surprised no one has shot the things.”

“There’s a law against shooting birds,” Bill said. “Too bad. They’ll just keep multiplying.”

I figured he was exaggerating, until one day, every tree near our property was full of crows. Three of them actually attacked a bald eagle circling overhead. He didn’t have a chance. The crows surrounded him on all sides until the eagle left the area. The neighbors decided to cut down the trees. I thought it would dissuade the crows flocking our area. Wrong.

Every morning, our backyard filled with crows, until it looked like we painted the grass black. Our dogs chased them away, but it didn’t last long, because the crows came back when the dogs went inside the house. The crows became pesky beasts. They fought with small bird, eating from the birdfeeder, and they chased away squirrels burying their nuts. I couldn’t shoot the crows. I couldn’t poison them because it might hurt my dogs or other harmless critters. I stood in the window and raised my arms, scaring the crows each morning. They were too smart. As soon as I left my perch, they were back again. Even the neighbors’ cats didn’t deter the birds.

I researched about crows. The crows are associated with war, death, the Otherworld, and as a cunning trickster. Throughout history, crows were scavengers of dead humans during wars and plagues. In the Native American culture, it’s bad luck to harm a crow. Whenever an animal shows up repetitively, it’s a spiritual sign to pay attention. Animal guides enter your life to give you messages from beyond and to reassure you that you’re on the right path. So, what are these crows saying? With the COVID pandemic going on, is this why the population of crows has increased?

Like humans, crows live in family groups and adapt to a variety of habitats. Historically, crows and humans have competed for food. Crows search with a keen ability to use whatever resources they need to grab a meal. Farmers found them a nuisance and created the scarecrow to frighten the marauders. Crows are smart and don’t fall easily for such tricks. Believe me, I’ve tried.

Owls and hawks prey on crows. I bought a metal owl and placed it in the garden area near the corn. The owl moves its wings up and down when the wind blows. I hung bells and windchimes on the pagoda. The owl kept the crows out of the garden, but nothing fazed them in the backyard. What I’ve learned is this, crows are clever, intelligent birds. Who knows if they really bring good or bad luck? At any rate, I’ve heard if you threaten the crows, they’ll hold a grudge against you. Did you want to be underneath them when they release a poop bomb? Apparently, they’re good at facial recognition.

Photo by Mike on

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