Animal Behavior In My Backyard

J. Harris

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Crows Have An Evil ReputationSheffield Telegraph - Google Image

A shocking scene yesterday.

I live in a community in South Florida and there are so many wild creatures. I am from Georgia and you would never see anything like this there so it is new to me. I have been here for six years and it constantly amazes me the number and kinds of wildlife that no one pays much attention to.

I am retired so I mostly stay home and observe all my animal friends. We have ducks, squirrels, bluejays, iguana, small lizards, burrowing owls but thank goodness not many insects. I have found moving from Georgia to Florida that I am not bitten by mosquitoes anymore. I have not seen many bees nor wasps, but ants and roaches are another story.

The burrowing owls are comedians. They stay in their burrows most of the time until it rains. Then they come out, open their wings and walk around catching all the water. They then flapped and cleaned them. They kept doing that over and over. There are two of them. Such a beautiful sight. Also, the other day, I observed one of them doing something very funny. I watched it go away from its burrow about five feet walking backwards, then it squatted a bit and pooped. Now that is a funny thing to watch.

A duck that normally comes to visit day-to-day came by with her 15 children/ducklings. They were so cute. She was trying to find water for them. She visited a few air conditioners that drip cool water but it did not seem to be enough for her large brood. I helped by putting water out for all of them. They took advantage. I backed away as they were also trying to float, drink, lay in the water. Not to mention, they totally discombobulated a setup I had. I think they really needed to swim but I did not have a big enough container for that.

After they had gotten their fill of water they all were sitting close to their mother in a group except for one of them. The next thing I know a large crow swoops in picks up that baby and flies off with it. The mother is very upset and squawks and squawks flapping her wings and such. I tell her that there is nothing that can be done and she quiets down but I keep a close watch anyway. She has gathered her babies into a tight circle to keep the rest safe.

I did not know crows ate baby ducklings. It was so sad. It took it up into the tree and that was the last we saw of it. She finally took the rest of her ducklings to a safer place because I did not see them for the rest of the day.

I know when I see a new mom with 15 to 20 ducklings that they are not going to last long and I try not to get attached. They are so vulnerable to everything. They fall down the drains and starve and die. They get hit by cars and get killed by dogs. It is such a beautiful sight when they are first hatched but you know they will not all make it.

Some do and some don't. Nature.

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I usually write about a lot of subject matter from my own personal life to animal behavior. Everything in between. I have been writing for over two years but have always been a writer and avid reader. I lived in Atlanta, GA for sixty years then moved to South Florida and it was a huge change for me. I write truth as I see it in hopes it will help others.

Plantation, FL
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