augury doggerel

Sunday, April 21, 2002

Crow vs. Buzzard

I just watched a showdown on the lawn here between a brown buzzard (Buteo buteo) and a large black-and-gray hooded crow (Corvus corone cornix). The buzzard arrived first and started his stroll across the lawn. The crow, who has been making this patch of grass his own for some days, landed and approached.

A buzzard has strong, thick, feathered legs and walks with a dignified gait. It looked with round yellow eyes straight at the crow and appeared fearless, ready to fight.

Crows don't walk, they hop as if their legs are tied together. This crow skulked and cowered up to the buzzard, sometimes lying low to the ground, sometimes popping up into the air, always trying to stay behind the enemy.

Each time the crow hopped close enough to be bothersome, the buzzard turned and walked straight at it like a strong man about to lay out a pesky neighbor kid. But the pesky neighbor always hopped just out of the way, then began again to skulk.

It's a lovely day and there are other places to hunt, places without crows springing up behind you. The buzzard sailed away. The crow, too, left the field. He was here only to annoy.


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