Crow fledgling touches ground for the first time!

July 4

  • Lesson from crow mother: We help our babies leave the nest. 
  • Fledgling crow says, “I can fly!”


Yesterday morning there was a lot of crow activity on the corner of Woodland Park diagonally across the street from us. I could hear the adult crows—the ones who built their nest in the nearby tree—and their two off-spring from last summer. The adult crows called with excitement. I got up from my office chair to look out the window. The male adult was sitting on the baseball diamond fence scolding too-close people as they walked by. The two juveniles were walking around the lawn not far from the base of the tree that housed the nest (in the photo behind the red car).

Through the binoculars, I could see into the tree one of the crow babies perched on the nest’s edge. This year, the adult couple had a slow start with their babies. They had two nest failures; nests abandoned after damage from strong winds. They finally had success re-using a previous year’s nest in the tree at the edge of the park. The baby was flapping his wings, testing things out. The mother flew from the ground to the tree, over to the telephone wire, and back down to the ground. She seemed to be coaxing the youngster to make his first flight. The male kept guard, continuing to scold humans, while calling to the female. The juveniles walked around the grass pecking at things, seeming ready to provide back-up if needed. Juvenile crows may help their parents with nesting activities until they’re about 3 or 4 years old. This is how they learn to be parents themselves.

After the pedestrian and car traffic settled down, they stopped calling. Then, in this quiet moment, the fledgling swooped down from the nest onto the lawn. His first flight! The mother greeted him and regurgitated a bit of food into his mouth. Crows will prepare a mixture of food and saliva to feed their babies. This mix contains good bacteria for the babies health. I felt happy to have witnessed their group effort getting the baby launched! I went back to work.

After about 20 minutes, I heard the couple calling. The calls were coming from our roof. It was one of their typical calls caw-caaw—caw. The first and second caw paired with a slightly longer space between the second and third caw. The second caw slightly rounder sounding. I went up to the roof to give them their daily popcorn. Every day since their eggs hatched, I’d put a handful of peanuts and popcorn on the roof.

When I approached the edge of the deck I saw three crows, the two adults together on the neighbor’s roof, and the baby on our roof! He sat calmly and watched me put the food out. He had downy feathers on his chest and looked a bit ragged. His parents called a few times. I greeted the youngster and the parents. I felt honored—hello world!


Kilham, Lawrence. The American Crow and the Common Raven. College Station: Texas A & M University Press, 1989.

Sugi’s Vegan Gluten Free Dog Pancakes


  • Lesson from Sugi: Dogs like to eat things that taste good!
  • Sugi says, “I love these special pancakes made with love”

For some dog reason lately, Sugi has been very picky about his food. Things he used to love—squash, buckwheat noodles, rice noodles, azuki beans—don’t interest him right now. It can be frustrating offering  food and him turning his head away! I tried to entice him with various foods including goat dairy products, such as cheese and yogurt, and tofu. But after a week of these, I noticed he developed itchy ears and congested breathing, so I’m thinking he’s  allergic to dairy and soy products.

On a weekend over the holidays, I tried this vegan oat pancake recipe from Guten Free Vegan Girl for myself. These pancakes are delicious! They are even better cooked as waffles! Oats, the type of flour used in the recipe, are one of the most protein-rich grains with 17% protein compared to rice which is 7%.

I adapted the above recipe for Sugi by substituting the apricots (too sweet for him) with banana and adding some veggie puree. The pancakes do not have any sweetener, and they are full of protein, fruit, veggies and omegas so I believe they are a nutritious meal:

  • 1 1/3 cup organic oat flour
  • 1tsp. baking powder
  • 1 organic banana
  • 1/4 cup pureed cooked organic yam and carrot
  • 2 tbsp organic hemp or flax seeds
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • about 1 1/3 cup unsweetened organic coconut milk beverage (I use So Delicious brand)

Put the dry ingredients in a bowl and use a whisk to mix up the flour with the baking powder. Put the other ingredients (except the coconut milk) together in a small bowl and mash until smooth. Add the mashed ingredients to the dry ingredients. Then add the coconut milk, whisking until smooth, until you get the thickness you want. Add more if you want. Use a spoon to put a dollop (about 1/8-1/4 cup) of batter onto an oiled pan. Cook until dry on the up side. Flip and cook the other side, just like you would regular pancakes! You may have to add a bit of coconut milk as the batter sets while you’re cooking.

You will see in the picture that I’ve cooked them as small (about 3″) grittle cakes on a special grill that spans two burners. Once done, I let them cool on a rack. Sugi (20 lbs.) eats about 6 of these per day (in addition to other lovely treats…). He seems satisfied and is not losing any weight, so I’m happy… Delicious!