Date: 5/13/19 6:58 am
From: Kevin J. McGowan <kjm2...>
Subject: RE: [cayugabirds-l] Crow relationship .... Union Springs
It's called "allopreening," and it's common among crow family members. I have some photos and a little video of it at
https://get.google.com/albumarchive/101683745969614096883/album/AF1QipOTOn8uYT5okqlVFuupJF3oZ9GirfXeONgUKOYY

All members of the genus Corvus allopreen, so far as I know. Oddly, none of the jays do. When I worked on Florida Scrub-Jays I noticed that they could really have used allopreening. In the winter they would get ticks engorged on the back of their heads where an individual cannot groom. And, it appeared that the ticks carried important diseases, too. So they could have benefitted from allopreening.

Kevin


Kevin J. McGowan
Project Manager
Distance Learning in Bird Biology
Cornell Lab of Ornithology
159 Sapsucker Woods Road
Ithaca, NY 14850
<kjm2...>
607-254-2452


 
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-----Original Message-----
From: <bounce-123607715-3493952...> <bounce-123607715-3493952...> On Behalf Of John and Fritzie Blizzard
Sent: Sunday, May 12, 2019 11:15 PM
To: CAYUGABIRDS-L <CAYUGABIRDS-L...>
Subject: [cayugabirds-l] Crow relationship .... Union Springs

This Mother's Day a.m. I saw a crow in our choke cherry tree & assumed it was an adult from the nest in the nearby spruce trees.

Here, let me say that only once in the last mo. have I heard any cawing from any crows so I presume they are quiet during nesting so as to not provoke any smaller birds into attacking them.

Almost immediately,  another crow joined the first & they seemed to really snuggle closely together in the steady rain.  I noticed the one on the right seemed to be doing something to the head of the other. They both turned so they were sideways to me. The one on the right appeared to be grooming the feathers on the top of the head of the one on the left.  I could see, with binoculars, that the feathers were definitely being lifted up & then were smoothed back down as the grooming continued.

This continued at least 5 min. & was quite interesting to watch. WHAT was going on???  Anyone have an answer? I have no idea if the birds were mates or family members since for many yrs.  a family of 3 to 7 has faithfully come to check out what compost I throw on the garden. Seems too soon for the eggs to have hatched & have a bird the size of an adult already.

Just another mystery of Nature.

Fritzie,

Union Springs,  where it's wet & getting wetter!


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